3 September 2020
Free Mahmoud Nawajaa

Thank you for contacting me about the arrest of Mahmoud Nawajaa.  

I know that there has been a great deal of concern about Mr Nawajaa's arrest.  I have been made aware that Mahmoud Nawajaa has been released by Israel, after being held for 19 days. I welcome this news, as I believe it is crucial that the UK continues to support the rights of human rights defenders to carry out their work safely and without fear.  

I am told that the UK repeatedly calls on the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law and either charge or release detainees. The UK also remains concerned about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary, rather than as routine practice and as a preventive measure.  

More broadly, I am assured that the UK puts human rights and human rights defenders at the heart of its international work. The UK’s recognises the essential role human rights defenders play and in July 2019 published the “UK Support for Rights Defenders” document to publicly underline the UK’s commitment to protecting them.