Without trial or charge, Emad had been imprisoned for a year. His ordeal began at a checkpoint, when Israeli soldiers shackled him in a provisional detention room without explanation. After 4 hours, he was transferred to an unknown location where his captors covered his face, tightened his shackles, beat him with a stick and burnt him with cigarettes. He was then transferred to another unknown location and then on to a detention center.

After 5 days of interrogation, 17 year old Emad was given his first 2.5 month administrative detention. Upon completion, it was renewed for another 3 months. And then again for another 3 months. And then again for another 3 months.

He was finally released having spent 347 days in prison without charge or trial.

Administrative detention is a procedure that Israeli authorities use to detain Palestinians without charging them or letting them stand trial.

In theory, detainees can appeal their detentions. In practice, there's nothing for them to appeal against when they don't know why they've been detained or what "secret" evidence their detention is based on.

Although the maximum period of a single detention is 6 months, it can be renewed indefinitely and some Palestinians have spent over 6 years in continuous detention.

International law permits administrative detention in very exceptional cases of emergency, when there is no other way of preventing the danger posed by a detainee. And, unsurprisingly, Israeli authorities claim to use it only in this way.

In reality, they use it to drive fear of dissent into the hearts of Palestinians and as a punishment for those who oppose the Israeli occupation in any way, even through non-violent means.

692 Palestinians are currently being held under administrative detention (April 2016).

Without access to the evidence, the arguments that were presented in the ex parte hearings and the secret testimonies of GSS witnesses, I was forced to defend my client in a figurative state of darkness.

Jamil Dakwar

If one of us has committed a crime there is a way to punish him by presenting him to the court. But to detain someone without any specific charge and without trial, and to punish him on the basis of suspicion, this kind of treatment needs to be exposed.

Ahmed Qatamsheh

They say I am a danger to state security. If so then why not take me to interrogation or try me on these charges? In fact, the reason for administrative detention is that the detainees have political principles or positions that are not acceptable to them.

Musa Musharqa

On that day, my administrative detention was renewed yet again, this time for four months. I was shocked because I was supposed to get out of prison and couldn’t wait to be released. Instead of getting a release order, my detention order was extended by four months. I can’t describe what I felt.

Nidal al-Bum

By the end of the sixth renewal, I will have spent 33 months in administrative detention. During this time, I have not once been able to answer the innocent and persistent question of my two little girls, "When are you coming home?" I still don't know how to explain to the little ones why I can’t return.

Samir Shalada

When I was five, my daddy was put in administrative detention. They said to me at that time that it was only for six months. I did not know that this six months would be extended. The hardest thing about this detention is that every six months my sisters and I put on our best clothes and wait and wait. But he doesn’t come.

Majd Delaysheh

The cruel fire of prison burns my mother and father who have waited a long time for me. I had no sooner begun to see life than I was detained. Will I and my family continue to suffer from this detention? Will my family continue to wait for me every six months to get the response that 'Your son’s detention has been renewed'?

Mahmud Dhib al-Adariya

My family were waiting for me on the road and my wife (who was pregnant) was waiting for me at home. Those released reached the place where the family was waiting but I wasn't amongst them. My mother cried a lot and soaked the place in tears. She was carried away to our home. My wife fainted from shock when she realized that I was not released.

Sami Abu Hawash

I challenged them to show one piece of evidence to prove their accusations were true. They did not present one piece of evidence. Only the accusation. And then the process of a chain of extensions of detention began and all without a reason. I have suffered the pain of administrative detention and continued extension for a number of years with no reason!

Nasser Khaled Ibrahim Jarar

The judge decided to reject my appeal without giving any justification. The decision stated that the Shabak had obtained information to the effect that I had constituted a danger for around 40 days before my arrest. There was no clarification of this information which was contained in a secret file that neither the judge nor my lawyer had read. That is to say, I am held on a charge but don’t know what it is!

Darrar al-Izza

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