[News] Crucial situation of Palestinian Prisoners.
News at freedomarchives.org
News at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jan 28 08:54:38 EST 2005
From: Yehudith Harel [mailto:ye_harel at netvision.net.il]
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2005 8:29 PM
Subject: The crucial situation of Palestinian Prisoners.
The fate of ca 8300 Palestinian prisoners - men and women - in the Israeli
prisons and military detention camps is a most crucial issue. It is
considered to be at the head of priorities for the Palestinian people and
political leadership concerning any possible agreement with Israel in the
near future. These prisoners are POW and should be treated accordingly.
The immediate release of these prisoners is expected within the framework
of any peace agreement.
In the present there is an uprecedentedly high number of convicted
prisoners - ca 8300 - including many women who have children outside the
prison with no one to take care of them. When small, under the age of two,
these chidren are living with their mothers in the prison in inhuman
conditions. Some were born in the prison and spent their first years of
childhood there. Sometimes, as a result of the mistreatment of their
mothers, these babies become themselves subject to abuse. (see the
Novemeber 2004 events reported at the end of the following one.) According
to reports by various human rights organizations and lawyers, the
conditions inside the prisons for both men and women have deteriorated and
are very difficult - in many cases starkly contravening the Geneva
covenant. Some of the the main problems:
- ca 1500 prisoners who were convicted for their involvement in military
and armed operations causing the death of Israelis, are sentenced to 1 - 48
times life sentence, with no chances whatsoever that their sentence period
be "limited" the same way as it is done with Jewish criminal or political
murderers ( Like Ami Popper) who have life sentences. This means that the
Palestinian prisoners are actually sentenced for life, have no chance
whatsoever of getting a parole, no matter what the circumstances are, or
for shortening the period of imprisonment due to repentance or good
behaviour, or have the possibility of release even when they are very old
or close to death. They actually die in the prison.
- Needless to say that no Palestinian prisoner has the right to go out for
a visit... unlike Jewish criminal murderers who are allowed home visits and
then commit more murders - which happens again and again...
- Visiting rights are most limited. The only people who are granted
permission to visit the prisoners are first degree relatives: parents,
spouses, and children. Even brothers are not allowed to visit them. If a
person has none of the above, like happens in many cases when parents are
dead and the person was not married - he or she can have no one to visit
them, except a lawyer. Visiting rights are completely denied to ca 200
prisoners on 'security grounds'. Even if contested in court, and the right
is granted by a court verdict - the authorities find many "creative" ways
to effectively deny the visiting rights.
- Denial of visiting rights is a common method of punishment. Prisoners are
often denied their visiting rights as a most arbitrary way of
- Visiting conditions are very difficult. According to standard procedures
in the prisons - a long row of Palestinian prisoners - sometimes up to 20 -
sit behind a wire wall or bars, in the same hall, and try to discuss with
their visitors, 3 for each person, together ca 60 people... Everybody is
shouting at the same time and people cannot talk to each other at all.
Parents cannot touch nor hug their children and vice versa.
- It is most difficult for most relatives to realize their visiting
rights Relatives living in the Occupied territories need special permits
to enter Israel, and many are denied on 'security grounds'. For others, the
expenses are very high. Some families who have 5 - 6 members in the prison
at the same time cannot manage to visit all of them.
- There are recurring complaints about lack of sufficient food for both men
and women. The prisoners are forced to purchase all their needs in the
prison canteen, but many of them have no means to do this.
There a recurring complaints of torture and inhuman treatment of both men
and women, especially sexual harrassment of the women prisoners.
*This information is based upon a report made by The Mandela Institute for
the protection of the Palestinian Prisoners.
We will try to bring more updated information concerning this most crucial
and painful subject from various sources. In the meantime we provide you
with the January and December reports of the :
Women`s Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)
E-mail: havakell at 012.net.il
Newsletter January 2005
There are at present about 90 women in Hasharon Prison, after another 30
women were transferred
from Neve Tirza at end of November 2004.
In the wake of the incidents at the end of November 2004, the women had to
remain without electricity
in their rooms for ten days. The electrical appliances that were
confiscated were returned in mid-
January. Manal Ghanem, the mother of Noor, received a room heater after
three weeks, but the hotplate
was only given back with the rest of the electrical appliances, which means
that Noor had been without
heating for three weeks and without hot food and drink for six weeks.
During this whole period the
baby was sick.
To read more ( in English) go to:
For Hebrew go to:
The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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