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Rights group calls for release of Al-Bireh mayor's daughter, Bushra Al-Tawil

12:00 Aug 9 2011 Ofer prison, near Ramallah

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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian prisoners' rights group on Tuesday called for the release of Bushra Al-Tawil, the daughter of the mayor of Al-Bireh, who has been held by Israeli authorities for a month without charge.

Israeli forces arrested Al-Tawil, 18, on July 6, 2011 after a raid on her family home in Al-Bireh.

No explanation was given for her arrest, and more than a month later she has not been charged with any crime, human rights network for Palestinian prisoners UFree said.

"UFree believes that she was targeted for arrest by Israeli occupation forces because her father, Mr Jamal Al-Tawil is an elected mayor for Al-Bireh city in the West Bank.

"Family members of elected officials have been vulnerable to arrest due to the Israeli occupation policy of targeting families of elected Palestinian politicians as a means of applying political pressure," a statement said.

Bushra's mother, Muthanna Al-Tawil, was previously held in administrative detention for a full year, Ufree said.

Jamal Al-Tawil, the mayor of Al-Bireh, was detained by Israeli forces for several months under administrative detention during the first Intifada without being charged.

"UFree calls for the immediate expedition of Ms Al-Tawil's case and compensation for the psychological trauma they have been subject to throughout the ordeal."

Israeli courts have been delaying her case from being heard, Ufree added.

Administrative detention entails being detained without a trial or any charge.

Israel has held thousands of Palestinians in administrative detention in the past and the practice has been widely condemned by human rights groups.
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