Thursday, September 09, 2004

Tali Fahima and imprisonment without trial

Running with the Devil thinks that Israeli peace activist Tali Fahima deserves to be detained:

Fahima seems to be deeply implicated in an attack at the Qalandiyah checkpoint on August 11. The attack left six Border Policemen injured - three seriously. Two Palestinians were killed and another 24 were injured in the incident.

These allegations were mentioned in the Guardian article, and my response is simple: if the Israeli government has evidence that Fahima has been involved in terrorism or any other crime, then they should charge her and put her on trial. If they are unwilling (or unable) to do that, they should release her. No state should be imprisoning anyone unless they have been found guilty in fair and open proceedings, or have been charged, are awaiting trial, and are a flight risk or significant danger to others.

Imprisonment without trial is a fundamental violation of human rights. It is also open to government abuse (as some suspect in this case). And that is why civilised countries forbid it.