The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders considered
Israeli detention of a Palestinian Human Rights fieldworker a flagrant violation
of article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political

In an urgent appeal issued Tuesday, the Observatory revealed that it was informed by Al-Haq, a Palestinian Human Rights NGO, that the administrative detention of Ziyad Hmeidan, one of fieldworkers, was again extended.

According Al-Haq, Hmeidan was informed of a new administrative detention extension order in his case for four more months, effective from November 19, 2006 until March 18, 2007. Hmeidan, who has been arbitrarily detained at the Moscobiyya Detention Centre since May 23, 2005, without any official charge, was due for release on November 19, 2006.

The Observatory recalled that the Israeli authorities have justified Hmeidan's detention on the basis of "secret evidence" that has not been disclosed to either Hmeidan or his lawyer, effectively rendering it unchallengeable in judicial proceedings and denying his right to a fair trial.

It expressed fears that Hmeidan's detention to be linked with his monitoring and documenting of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in the Bethlehem area of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The Observatory requested the Israeli side to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Hmeidan and demanded his immediate and unconditional releas .