[News] April 17 Palestinian Prisoners Day - National, Arab and international solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Apr 16 15:44:04 EDT 2015

  Prisoners Day Report on Palestinian Detainees, Their Sufferings and
  Their Plight

author Thursday April 16, 2015 07:59author by Translated by: Saed Bannoura

    April 17 is Palestinian Prisoners Day, the day of National, Arab and
    international solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, held
    by Israel and facing serious, continuous (and escalating) Israeli

Marking this important day, the Palestinian Detainees’ Committee issued 
this comprehensive report to document the ongoing suffering of the 
detainees, and to highlight their cause around the world.

The Palestinian National Council, the highest authority of the Palestine 
Liberation Organization (PLO), held a meeting on April 17, 1974, and 
decided to declare this day a day of solidarity with all detainees, to 
support their struggle, and to act in solidarity with the detainees and 
their constant battle for freedom.

The day is also meant for solidarity with the families of the detainees, 
and their own ongoing suffering.

Since then, April 17 has become Palestinian Prisoners Day, marked in 
Palestine and in various places around the world, in cooperation with 
human rights activists.

This year, April 17 comes amidst escalating Israeli violations, 
increasing abductions of Palestinians in different parts of occupied 
Palestine, and durig every hour of the day and night.

The arrests target every segment of Palestinian society, while Israeli 
soldiers have kidnapped, since 1967 until April of 2015, around 850,000 
Palestinians, including 15,000 women and thousands of children.

According to detailed documentations of the Palestinian Detainees 
Committee, Israeli soldiers carried out more than 85,000 arrests, 
including 10,000 arrests of children and 1,200 women, in addition to 65 
former government ministers and legislators, and issued at least 24,000 
arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, holding thousands without 
charge or trial.

The arrests target children, elderly, women, patients, disabled 
resident, students, doctors, artists, poets, writers, journalists, 

“The arrests and the procedures used by Israel are held in direct 
violation of International Humanitarian Law; the detainees are tortured, 
physically and emotionally abused,” the Committee said. “100% of the 
kidnapped Palestinians said that they face at least one form of torture, 
mainly physical, but also emotional, and were subject to humiliation in 
front of their families, or the public in general.”

The Committee also noted a serious escalation in the abduction of 
children, especially over the last four years, as soldiers kidnapped 
3,755 children, including 1,266 who were kidnapped in 2014.

Israel's violations against children do not stop here, but also include 
repeated assaults and excessive use of force against them, including the 
use of deadly military force.

The first quarter of 2015 witnessed the abduction of more than 200 
children who were then abused, mistreated and intimidated, in addition 
to being denied their basic rights, an issue which poses a serious 
threat to their development and to their future.

The Detainees In Numbers:

- 6,500 Palestinians still imprisoned by Israel, among them are;
1. 480 detainees sentenced to at least one life term.
2. 200 children.
3. 24 women, including four children.
4. 14 legislators and one government minister.
5. 30 detainees held before the Oslo Accord of 1993.
6. 16 detainees who have been imprisoned for more than 25 years, 
including Karim Younis and Maher Younis, who were kidnapped 33 years ago.
7. 85 former detainees, who were released under the Shalit Prisoner Swap 
Agreement, and were kidnapped again, afterwards; most of them served at 
least 20 years before the Shalit deal.

The detainees are held in 22 prisons, detention and interrogation 
centers, mainly in Nafha Ramon, Asqalan, Hadarim, Galboa’, Shatta, 
al-Maskobiyya, Ramla, Damoun, HaSharon, the Negev Detention Camp, ‘Ofer 
and Majeddo.

Female Detainees

The detainees are beaten and humiliated, face degrading remarks and 
confrontations, especially during their transport to interrogation and 
detention centers, and are subject to torture and intimidation.

They also face threats of physical, even sexual, harm to them and their 
families, in addition to extremely difficult living conditions; they are 
frequently denied family visits, and face provocative bodily searches, 
and are also denied access to education.

The Detainees’ Committee said that there are seven women detained who 
also have husbands, sons or brothers imprisoned by Israel, and are not 
allowed to see them or talk to them.

Ailing Detainees

More than 1,500 detainees suffer from various diseases and health 
issues, largely resulting from the lack of medical attention, 
contaminated cells and rooms, torture and abuse, while 16 of them are 
contently living in the Ramla Prison Clinic, suffering from paralysis 
and other disease, while many require surgeries, with outside doctors 
not allowed to even examine them, much less treat their afflictions.

More than 80 detainees have very serious and chronic conditions; 24 of 
them have different types of cancer, and dozens suffer from physical and 
mental disabilities.

Many detainees develop psychological conditions due to ill treatment, 
extremely difficult living conditions, malnutrition, humid and dirty 
cells, in addition to being placed in overcrowded rooms.

Several detainees were kidnapped after being shot by Israeli soldiers, 
and were tortured, including by way of beatings on preexisting wounds 
during interrogation, in an attempt to extract information and confessions.

Many ailing detainees have skin diseases, pneumonia, ulcers, tumors, 
renal failure, rheumatism, slipped discs, blood clots, spinal cord 
conditions, diabetes, dental issue, eye issues and many other severe 

Administrative Detainees

Administrative Detention is the unknown enemy which thousands of 
detainees face; it is detention without charge and without trial, 
lawyers cannot defend the detainees as Israel claims it has a “secret 
file” on each detainee, a file not accessible for even the lawyers.

An Administrative Detention order is usually between one and six months, 
issued by military commanders in the occupied territories, who base 
their rulings on “military and security considerations.”

Such orders are frequently renewed, in many cases exceeding ten times, 
while the detainees end up being held for more than five years without 
any charge.

Such orders do not only target young men, but also women, intellectuals, 
writers, journalists, university professors, legislators, ministers, 
students and journalists.

Living Conditions

Living conditions are very difficult, and are largely accompanied by 
torture, solitary confinement, denial of family visits, abuse, bad food, 
frequent invasions and searches of the detainees’ rooms, high fines, 
lack of medical attention and numerous other violations.

Deaths Among The Detainees

The Detainees' Committee has documented 206 deaths since 1967, among 
them are 71 who died due to extreme torture, 54 due to lack of medical 
attention, 74 executed by the soldiers after their arrest, 7 were shot 
dead by soldiers and prison guards, in addition to dozens who died, 
following their release, of illnesses and diseases they suffered while 

The Committee added that Israel also released a number of detainees 
after their health conditions became terminal, and that they died 
shortly after.

Some of them have been identified as Hayel Abu Zeid, Morad Abu Sakout, 
Ashraf Abu Threi’, Zakariyya ‘Issa, Seitan al-Waly, Zoheir Lubbada, 
Hasan Torabi and many others, including the latest casualty, Ja’far 
‘Awad, age 26, who died on Friday, April 10.

The Detainees’ Committee calls on the Palestinian People, in Palestine 
and around the world, on the Arab and Islamic Nations, and every person 
who believes in justice and freedom around the world, to mark April 17 
every year, to always act in solidarity with the detainees and their cause.

It urges them to practice pressure on their governments, human rights 
groups and various organizations, in order to support the struggle of 
the detainees, and to oblige Israel to respect International Law.

The Committee added that the struggle must continue until all detainees 
are released, as a perquisite to real, comprehensive peace and justice, 
and affirmed that there can be no peace, security and stability in the 
region without the freedom of all detainees, and the independence of 

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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