Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian prisoners’

Barghouti sent to isolation after Israel comments

January 27, 2012

Ma’an News, Jan 26, 2012

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Marwan Barghouti pictured during an interview from his prison cell in
2006.(MaanImages/file)

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti was sent to solitary confinement on Wednesday after making critical comments about Israel to journalists.

After testifying in a Jerusalem court on Wednesday the Fatah leader briefly spoke to reporters.

Upon returning to Hadarim prison in Israel, Barghouti was not allowed back into his regular cell and was instead put in isolation, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said Thursday.

Detainees in the prison protested the move and asked prison authorities to explain their decision.

Israeli authorities have not responded.

Barghouti, the former secretary-general of Fatah in the West Bank, told journalists that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would only be resolved when the occupation comes to an end and Israel withdraws to the pre-1967 borders.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society condemned the Israeli decision to isolate him and called on human rights organizations to stop violations against Palestinian leaders in jail.

The Fatah leader has been serving a life sentence since 2004 and has been widely viewed as a contender to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as president.

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2010: Palestinian Prisoners Day

April 23, 2010

Palestine Monitor, April 22, 2010

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There are currently more than 7.000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Hundreds are being held in administrative detention. 17th of April was the Palestinian Prisoners Day. Hundreds of Palestinians took part to the rallies organised across the West Bank and Gaza. Palestine Monitor’s photographer, FLV, takes a look to the commemoration held in Ramallah.

Since its occupation of the Palestinian Territory in 1967, the Israeli authorities systematically violate the most basic rights granted by international and human rights conventions through inhumane treatment, restrictions on movements, killings, deportation, and detention.

Continues >>

Israeli soldiers: Talk to Hamas

February 15, 2010

As Israeli soldiers we hang our heads in shame over last year’s attack on Gaza’s civilian population. Dialogue, not war, is needed

by Arik Diamant and David Zonsheine, The Guardian/UK, Feb 15, 2010

Gaza conflictCivilians flee during last year’s war on Gaza. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

The Israeli media marked the one-year anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, the war on Gaza, almost as a celebration. The operation is recognised almost unanimously in Israel as a military triumph, a combat victory over one of Israel’s deadliest enemies: Hamas.

As combat soldiers of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), we have serious doubts about this conclusion, primarily because hardly any combat against Hamas took place during the operation. As soon as the operation started, Hamas went underground.

Continues >>

PA: UN wants Israel to admit secret prison

November 24, 2009

Ma’an News Agency, Nov 22, 2009

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Ramallah – Ma’an – The UN has sent an official request to Israel to admit the existence of secret prison camp 1391, dubbed in the press “Israel’s Guantanamo Bay,” according to the Palestinian Authority minister of prisoners affairs.Minister Issa Qaraqe told a news conference in Ramallah on Saturday that the UN had asked the Israeli government in a letter to officially acknowledge that the facility.

Human rights experts with the United Nations Committee Against Torture questioned Israeli officials about the facility in may when the country came up for a regular review under a treaty obligation, Reuters reported.

Continues >>

 

Israel abusing Palestinian female prisoners

July 15, 2009

Middle East Online, First Published 2009-07-15


Beatings, insults, threats, and humiliation techniques
Pregnant prisoners chained to beds as others subjected to torture, sexual harassment in Israeli jails.
TEL AVIV – A Palestinian human rights group slammed Israeli treatment of Palestinian female prisoners in a UN-sponsored report released on Wednesday, saying pregnant women are often shackled on their way to hospitals to give birth.

The women prisoners are held in “Israeli prisons and detention centres which were designed for men and do not respond to female needs,” said a report by the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, which was sponsored by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

Pregnant detainees “do not enjoy preferential treatment in terms of diet, living space or transfer to hospitals,” it said. “Pregnant prisoners are also chained to their beds until they enter delivery rooms and shackled once again after giving birth.

“The unbalanced diet, insufficient amounts of protein-rich foods, lack of natural sunlight and movement, poor ventilation and moisture all contribute to the exacerbation and the development of health problems such as skin diseases, anaemia, asthma, prolonged stomach aches, joint and back pains.”

In addition, the majority of the prisoners were “subjected to some form of mental pressure and torture through the process of their arrest,” including beatings, insults, threats, sexual harassment and humiliation techniques.

The vast majority of Palestinian women in Israeli prisons are young — some 13 percent of those arrested in 2007-2008 were under the age of 18 and 56 percent were between 20 and 30 years of age.

The detainees are often denied means to study, which violates their rights to a higher education and suffer from restrictions on visits.

In September 2008, some 60 percent had at least one family member who was not allowed to visit them. Open visits were restricted to mothers once their children reached the age of six.

Female prisoners with a husband or other relatives also in jail were “accorded the right to family visits… after months of delays.”

In addition, the Israeli prison authorities do not provide gender-sensitive rehabilitation programmes, it said.

The report was based on interviews with 125 Palestinian women who were arrested, detained or imprisoned in Israeli jails between November 2007 and November 2008. Of those, some 65 remain in prison — part of some 9,000 Palestinians currently incarcerated in Israel.

A spokesman for the Israeli prison authorities said he was not aware of the report and could not comment.

Solidarity Needed Now: Ahmad Sa’adat Enters Second Week of Hunger Strike

June 13, 2009

by the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat

MR Zine,  June 11, 2009

Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has entered the second week of his hunger strike to protest the policy of isolation and solitary confinement practiced by the Israeli prison administration against Palestinian prisoners.

This is an urgent situation and requires broad solidarity and public support for the Palestinian prisoners within the jails of the occupier and in solidarity with Ahmad Sa’adat.  Palestinian prisoners are suffering, subject to isolation and constant movement from prison to prison in an attempt to undermine the prisoners’ strength, solidarity and steadfastness.  They are denied family visits and prisoner leaders are particularly subject to the policy of isolation.  The escalation of Israeli attacks on prisoners’ rights — secured through many years of struggle — took place immediately following the war crimes and assault on Gaza and has continued since.

Ahmad Sa’adat’s own isolation — since March — was recently extended.  Entering the second week of hunger strike, his health is at risk in order to shed light on the suffering of Palestinian prisoners and in rejection of these policies aimed at Palestinian prisoners and their steadfast commitment to the struggle to free Palestine, despite the torture, inhumanity and abuse of the prison administration.

Now is the time for Palestinian, Arab and international action and unity in support of Palestinian prisoners, who stand every day behind bars and on the front lines of struggle to liberate Palestine.

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat is calling for letters and statements in support of the freedom of Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners from parties, groups and organizations around the world.  It is critical that the broadest campaign of voices in solidarity with Ahmad Sa’adat be lifted up now!

Take action in your country or city.  Contact your local Israeli embassy and express your outrage at this policy of isolation: <www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Diplomatic+missions/
Web+Sites+of+Israeli+Missions+Abroad.htm
>.

Also, contact the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as this body is responsible for monitoring and visiting Palestinian prisoners.  Call upon the ICRC to end its silence about Palestinian prisoners and to take action to defend their rights.  Contact the Jerusalem office of the ICRC at jerusalem.jer@icrc.org.

Please send your statements and letters to info@freeahmadsaadat.org.  The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat will publish and distribute these letters and statements.  Act now for freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners!

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
www.freeahmadsaadat.org
info@freeahmadsaadat.org

Urgent: Ahmad Sa’adat transferred to solitary confinement in Asqelan prison!

March 20, 2009

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat

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Uruknet.info, March 19, 2009

On March 19, 2009, Ahmad Sa’adat was suddenly transferred from Hadarim prison and to Asqelan prison, where he is being held in solitary confinement.

Ahmad Sa’adat alongside 11,000 other Palestinian prisoners, has been repeatedly subjected to solitary confinement and punitive measures at the behest of the Israeli regime. Sa’adat has been moved repeatedly from prison to prison, and often placed in solitary confinement or isolation.

Palestinian lawyer Buthaina Duqmaq, president of the Mandela Association for Palestinian prisoners, stated that this is part of the Israeli policies towards
Palestinian prisoners. Sa’adat has been particularly targeted because he is
both a Palestinian national leader and a leader among the prisoners, whose presence within the prison strengthens the prisoners’ unity and steadfastness.

Furthermore, Ahmad Sa’adat is suffering from back injuries that require medical assistance and treatment. Instead of receiving the medical care he needs, the Israeli prison officials are refusing him access to specialists and engaging in medical neglect and maltreatment. Now, they are returning him to isolation where he will face even more serious medical neglect and injury.

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat demands an end to this isolation and calls upon all to write to the International Committee of the Red Cross and other human rights organizations to exercise their responsibilities and act swiftly to demand that the Israelis ensure that Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners receive needed medical care and that this punitive isolation be ended.

Email the ICRC, whose humanitarian mission includes monitoring the
conditions of prisoners, at jerusalem.jer@icrc.org, and inform them about the
urgent situation of Ahmad Sa’adat!

The imprisonment of Sa’adat, facing a 30 year sentence for his powerful and
political leadership of the Palestinian people, is a symbol of Israel’s
attempts to isolate and target the Palestinian people and their national
movement for liberation, through massive imprisonment. They have not succeeded in breaking the will of the people of Palestine, through imprisonment, massacres, and siege, and will never succeed in breaking the will of Sa’adat, the Palestinian prisoners, or the Palestinian people.

Freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners now!

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
http://www.freeahmadsaadat.org/

Israelis Continue to Abuse Palestinian Prisoners

December 18, 2008


By Mel Frykberg | Inter Press Service


RAMALLAH, West Bank, Dec 17 (IPS) – Israel released over 200 Palestinians from Israeli jails in a “goodwill gesture” Monday. This followed the Muslim feast of Eid Al-Adha and was an attempt to boost the waning popularity of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Several prisoners spoke to the assembled local and international media about their time in detention. They accused the Israelis of maltreating and physically abusing detainees despite Israeli claims that torture and the abuse of prisoners have been outlawed and no longer occur.

Most of the detainees were Fatah members, the movement associated with Abbas and the ruling Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank.

Some belonged to smaller Palestinian resistance groups such as the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).

While Israel’s “goodwill gesture” was much touted by the Israeli media, the majority of the prisoners were mostly small-time political detainees, who were due for release fairly shortly, having already served most of their sentences.

Many were teenagers when imprisoned and none were convicted of injuring or killing Israelis.

As negotiations were under way for the release of the 227 prisoners, hundreds more Palestinians were arrested by Israeli security forces.

The move was widely seen as an effort to boost Abbas’s floundering PA. The PA is currently engaged in a political battle against the rival Hamas movement which controls the Gaza Strip.

Hostility between the two main Palestinian political factions is rising as the end of Abbas’s term nears.

Abbas stated he would not step down, while Hamas said it would no longer recognise his authority after Jan. 9, when his term ends.

The released detainees were greeted by tearful family members, friends and hundreds of supporters who crowded into Ramallah’s presidential headquarters in the central West Bank.

Scenes of jubilation erupted against a sea of Fatah and Palestinian flags as patriotic music boomed into the winter air.

Muhammed Abdul Razik, 22, from the town of Qabatia in the northern West Bank, served two of his four-and-a-half-year sentence.

He was convicted in an Israeli court of weapons possession and being a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades, an armed offshoot of Fatah.

“I was beaten very badly when I was arrested by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers. I was kept in the back of a jeep for over four hours in the freezing cold,” Razik told IPS.

“During detention my head was covered with a foul-smelling dirty sack as I was shackled to a chair with my hands handcuffed behind my back in a stressful position.

“Periodically, between punches and slaps, the interrogator would suddenly pull me forward causing extreme pain to my wrists and back,” he said.

Razik added that beatings, insufficient medicine, poor food and lack of family visits were routine while he was incarcerated.

The Israeli Landau Committee into torture in 1987 ruled that Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, the Shabak, or Shin Bet, could use “moderate physical pressure and psychological pressure during the interrogation of detainees.”

The committee did not elaborate on its definition of physical pressure in its report, nor did it outline the circumstances in which it could be used. The details were kept confidential and the full report was never published.

Following petitions by several human rights organisations against the ubiquitous use of torture in the country, the Israeli High Court prohibited the use of certain forms of torture during its 1999 ruling.

However, it authorised the use of “physical means” against detainees including “pressure and a measure of discomfort.”

Rights groups B’Tselem and Hamoked released a report last year ‘Absolute Prohibition: The Torture and Ill-Treatment of Palestinian Detainees’ in which they accused the court ruling of “legitimising severe acts, contrary to international law, which does not acknowledge any exceptions to the prohibition on torture and ill-treatment.”

The organisation added that the beatings, painful binding, humiliation and denial of basic needs appeared to be designed to “soften up the detainees” prior to interrogation.

B’Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli told IPS, “There has been an improvement, but there are still many cases of ill-treatment occurring.”

B’Tselem and Hamoked interviewed 73 former detainees for their report and found roughly two-thirds had been subject to some kind of mistreatment.

Rabie Al-Latifah from Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq used stronger terms. “Ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons is both widespread and systematic,” Rabie told IPS.

“The United Coalition Against Torture, of which Al-Haq is a member, has observed and recorded evidence of acts, omissions, and complicity by agents of the State at all levels, including the army, the intelligence service, the police, the judiciary and other branches of government,” he added.

The Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association says that more than 800 Palestinians are currently in administrative detention.

Detainees are held for six months at a time without being brought to trial on the basis of “secret evidence”.

This six-month period can be renewed repeatedly with some administrative detainees being jailed for up to six years without being convicted of any crime.

“Confidential material” denied to the detainee’s lawyer determines the period of detention.

Since 2001, the Israeli State Attorney’s Office received over 500 complaints of ill-treatment by Shin Bet interrogators, but not a single criminal investigation was carried out.

These decisions were based on the findings of an investigation conducted by an inspector who was himself a member of the Shin Bet.

Even in cases were interrogators were found guilty of abusing a detainee the State Attorney’s Office closed the case on the basis that the abuse was carried out in the “necessity of defence”. (END/2008)


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