Corillon and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (French Academy of Sciences) projected photographs of some of the prisoners adopted by the Network during the previous two years and briefly presented the facts of their cases. (Supplemental information on the cases was included in the workshop agenda books, as was a list of cases that had been successfully resolved since the 1999 meeting. See Appendix C for a summary of the cases presented and their status at the time of publication of this proceedings.)
Following the presentation of cases, Amad Khatib (Palestinian Academy for Science and Technology) expressed disappointment that although there was information in the agenda book on the case of Akhram Kharoubi, a Palestinian medical doctor, it had not been included in the cases just presented and discussed. Kharoubi was Dean of the College of Medical Professions at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem when he was arrested at a checkpoint in November 1998 by the Israeli Army.
Corillon explained that Kharoubi’s case had been referred to the Network by the President of the Palestinian Academy for Science and Technology, Dr. Fathi Arafat, at the Network’s Stockholm meeting in 1999. She said that the case was being researched by the Network secretariat but that it had been very difficult to establish the facts of the case, including whether Kharoubi could be considered a prisoner of conscience (Amnesty International had not adopted his case). Private inquiries had been sent by the CHR to the Israeli authorities, she said, and the responses received were included in the agenda book.
Corillon said that the CHR has tried, through the Palestinian academy, to contact Kharoubi’s lawyer or his family, but as yet no one has been able to help. She said it would be helpful if the Palestinian academy’s representative were to facilitate contact for the CHR with Kharoubi’s lawyer and his family.
Khatib said that his academy had honestly tried to make such contacts in Kharoubi’s case, but that “in accordance with Israeli law, the Israeli authorities can prolong his presence in the prison for a long time. He was arrested in 1998, and he is still in jail and they continue to postpone the court sessions.”
Corillon said she would continue to investigate the case and asked that the Palestinian Academy provide additional reliable contacts through which to establish that Kharoubi is a prisoner of conscience, which would allow the Network to adopt his case. “We were able to get some very good references on him from one of his former university professors and from the rabbi at George Washington University, where he worked for 10 years as a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist. We have sent those letters of reference to the Israeli authorities, along with repeated inquiries about his status and appeals that he be given prompt medical treatment.”
Khatib said his academy did not have any more information, and it had thought that the Network “would be able to do better...because I know that the prime minister’s office is no longer responding to your letters of inquiry.” Corillon said that she had received letters from scientists in Israel who had