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        Economic and Social Council
16 March 2005


Sixty-first session
Agenda item 17 (b) of the provisional agenda



Report, of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Hina Jilani

Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received*

*The present document is being circulated in the languages of submission only as it greatly exceeds the page limitations currently imposed by the relevant General Assembly resolutions.


1. The present document is submitted by the Special Representative of the Secretary General on the situation of human rights defenders, Ms. Hina Jilani, to the Commission on Human Rights pursuant to Commission resolution 2003/64. The document provides summaries of the communications on specific cases addressed by the Special Representative to Governments, as well as summaries of the replies by Governments that she has received and her observations thereon.



Communications sent

338. On 21 May 2004, the Special Representative, together with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, issued a press release and sent a letter of allegation in connection with information received, on 19 May 2004, about a civil demonstration organized by the residents of Rafah town and refugee camp. It is reported that thousands of persons marched to protest against a reported operation by Israeli forces, which had been going on since 17 May 2004, to demolish houses in the Tel Sultan area of Rafah and allegedly resulted in the death at least 30 civilians. According to the information received, as the demonstrators were heading towards the Tel Sultan area, the Israeli forces allegedly opened fired at them with heavy artillery, including machine guns and tanks, at the same time as an Israeli Air Force helicopter gunship reportedly fired a missile into the crowd. The assault allegedly resulted in the killing of 10 persons, among which children, and wounding another 50. Six of those killed have been identified as Walid Naji Abu Qamar, age 10, Mubarak Salim Al Hashash, age 11, Mahmoud Tareq Mansour, age 13, Mohammed Talal Abu Sha’’ar, age 20, Alla Musalam Sheikh-Eid, age 20, and Fuad Khamis Al-Saqqa, age 31.

339. On 9 August 2004, the Special Representative, together with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the Chairman-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, sent an urgent appeal regarding Abd al-Latif Gheith, a human rights defender and board chairman of Addameer Prisoner’’s Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian NGO based in Ramallah aiming to bring to an end the torture of political prisoners. According to the information received, on 29 July 2004 Abd al-Latif Gheith was detained after security guards had reportedly stopped him at a military checkpoint and questioned him about the activities and staff of the NGO. It is further reported that on 4 July 2004, the Israeli deputy military commander allegedly issued an order for the six-month detention of Abd al-Latif Gheith. This order was reportedly issued on the grounds of “endangering security”and in the absence of any official charge being brought against him. Concern is expressed that he may be being detained in an attempt to hinder his work with political prisoners, his human rights activities with Addameer as well as his active participation in campaigning against Israel’’s construction of the Wall in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.


340. The Special Representative regrets that at the time of the finalization of this report, the Government had not transmitted a reply to her communication.


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