Lawyers for Lawyers, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada are concerned about the forced deportation of Salah Hammouri. As a lawyer, Mr. Hammouri represents political prisoners in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. He has been held in pre-trial detention for nine months and has faced many forms of harassment from the Israeli authorities. Born of Palestinian and French parents and a life-long resident of Jerusalem , Mr. Hammouri was stripped of his residency in Jerusalem and was forcibly deported to France in December 2022.

On 18 October 2021, Mr. Hammouri was notified of the Israeli Minister of Interior’s decision to revoke his permanent residency status in Jerusalem purportedly because of a “breach of allegiance to the State of Israel”, also based on a secret file. His appeal was rejected. According to the information received, during such procedures, Mr. Hammouri was questioned about his work as a lawyer at the Palestinian NGO Addameer.

On 30 November 2022, Mr. Hammouri was notified by the prison services that he was due to attend a deportation hearing the next day. During the deportation hearing, the Israeli minister of Interior also re-affirmed her decision to revoke Mr. Hammouri’s Jerusalem Residency.

On 5 December 2022, a second deportation hearing took place, which Mr. Hammouri’s lawyers and family were not allowed to attend. On 6 December, a third residency revocation hearing took place, where Mr. Hammouri and his lawyers were allowed to be present. The court did not issue a decision on Mr. Hammouri’s deportation, and ruled to maintain him under detention in Hadarim prison until further notice. As his administrative detention order had expired on 4 December, Mr. Hammouri was now detained on the basis of being a “sagav”, a highly dangerous prisoner. The court  scheduled a further judicial review hearing regarding his detention on 1 January 2023 at which hearing the court would also  look into updates on the residency revocation. However, his deportation to France had already taken place on 18 December 2022. He was hand- and foot cuffed during the entire flight from Palestine to France.

The undersigned organisations are deeply concerned that the forced deportation and continued harassment of Mr. Hammouri is connected to, and serves to unlawfully restrict, his legitimate activities as a lawyer and human rights defender.

We call on the Israeli authorities to:

  • Retract the revocation of the Jerusalem Residency of Mr. Salah Hammouri;
  • Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial and administrative levels, against him; and
  • Guarantee that all lawyers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel are able to practice law without threat, intimidation, hindrance, harassment, improper interference or reprisals, in line with international law and standards on the role of lawyers;
  • Guarantee the independence of all judicial authorities in accordance with the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary.

 

Read the full statement here