Following the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s significant decision earlier this month that three young female Palestinian university students are being held under unlawful arbitrary detention by Israel’s military authorities, Sarah Champion MP – who is also Chair of the International Development Select Committee in the UK Parliament – submitted this written question to the UK government:
- To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of (a) the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s finding of 1 July 2021 that Israel is holding three female Palestinian university students in arbitrary detention and (b) the UN Working Group’s request that the Government of Israel remedy the situation without delay and that the appropriate remedy would be to release the students immediately.
Yesterday, a written response was provided by the UK Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East, James Cleverly MP:
- We are aware of the findings by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on Israel’s continued detention of Layan Kayed, Elyaa Abu Hijla and Ruba Asi. We continue to call on the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law.
The question and answer can be seen on Hansard here.
LPHR notes it is important that the UK government is aware of Layan’s, Elyaa’s and Ruba’s cases and of the UN’s recent comprehensive finding that they are being arbitrarily detained. It is also important that the UK government has called on Israel’s authorities to comply with their obligations under international law.
We urge Israel’s authorities to respect the considered decision of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the UK government’s response; and accordingly immediately release Layan and Ruba (Elyaa was released in May after being detained for over ten months) and provide compensation, and other reparations, for the three Palestinian university students.