Writing a letter / email to your MP is one of the ways those based in Britain can add international pressure to Israeli institutions – courts, ambassadors, politicians – to pay attention to the Hares Boys case and all its elements that make a mockery out of human rights, such as torture in detention, dubious evidence, ignoring international law (in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention), and imprisonment of minors, among others.
Below is a pre-form letter you can send to your MP (Letter to British MPs – Updated Feb 2014). Please feel free to use it and if you can, please inform us of your MP’s response: haresboys [at] gmail.com. Thank you.
House Number and street
House of Commons
Dear …………[insert your MP’s name]
I am writing to you regarding the five Palestinian children, known as the Hares Boys, who were imprisoned by Israel in March 2013.
I understand that officials from the Consulate General in Jerusalem and the British Embassy in Tel Aviv have been in contact previously with the Israelis regarding the boys. By March 15th 2014 the boys will have been in detention for one full year and I urge you to ask the Foreign Secretary to demand the immediate release of Ali Shamlawi. Mohammed Kleib, Mohammed Suleiman, Ammar Souf, and Tamer Souf.
I am very concerned about the boys, who are all school-age and were arrested and detained on charges of attempted murder by stone-throwing. According to an al-Jazeera investigation, the charges are based chiefly on insurance claims; there are no eyewitness testimonies nor were complaints filed with the police. The boys report being tortured and beaten in jail and now face the possibility of life imprisonment.
The boys were imprisoned one month after a UNICEF report, Children in Israeli Military Detention, concluded that “the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized”.
I understand that officials are watching the case closely. However I urge you to demand the Foreign Secretary seeks reassurances from his Israeli counterparts that the boys will receive a fair trial, that any evidence obtained via torture will not be admissible, and that Israel uphold international law and the rights of detainees and particularly children.
Thank you very much for your time.
For more information about the case please visit the Hares Boys campaign website: https://haresboys.wordpress.com
Please also see the al-Jazeera investigation which found that there is very little evidence against the boys: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/07/2013728135136297215.html
And this report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which suggests that detainees such as the boys are unlikely to get a fair trial: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.541727#Scene_1