Tuesday, March 19, 2013

PCHR: Sharawna deportation violates Geneva Conventions

PCHR: Sharawna deportation violates Geneva Conventions 
Published yesterday (updated) 18/03/2013 21:44
People carry freed prisoner Ayman Sharawna on a stretcher as he
gestures upon his arrival to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, March 17.
(Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The deportation to Gaza of hunger-striking prisoner Ayman Sharawna is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, a Palestinian rights group said Monday.

Sharawna arrived in the Gaza Strip on Sunday evening after signing a deportation deal to end an 8-month long hunger strike in Israeli jail.

Forcible deportation is a form of collective punishment prohibited under the fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits "individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not," PCHR said in a statement.

The deal stipulates that Sharawna would stay in Gaza for 10 years before being able to return to his home in Gaza.

A 2011 prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas saw 40 Palestinians deported to other countries and 163 to the Gaza Strip, PHCR said, calling for all deportees to be allowed to return home.

Sharawna, 36, is from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and is married with nine children.

He was released in the Oct. 2011 prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas but was rearrested in Jan. 2012 and accused of violating the terms of his release.

Israeli authorities refused to reveal how Sharawna violated his release terms, even to his lawyers, and he was jailed without charge or trial.

Israeli prosecutors sought to cancel Sharawna's amnesty and jail him for 28 years, the remainder of his previous sentence. He went on hunger strike to demand his release.