[Ppnews] Palestinian Political prisoners hope international attention may solve their plight

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Dec 5 11:39:10 EST 2006

Political prisoners hope international attention may solve their plight
(Jenin) Ali Samoudi
Tuesday, 05 December 2006

In the Israeli Al Naqab (Negev) Prison, 2,309 Palestinian political 
prisoners are collectively expressing great hope that a government of 
national unity will soon be formed. After a Mandela Institute lawyer 
visited the desert prison, she reported that the Palestinians inside 
are resentful of the faltering dialogue.

The unity government means a possibility of release, not for all, but 
for some of the political prisoners. And "some" is better than none, 
as all report that living conditions are "sub-human." The information 
gathered by Mandela confirmed most reports from Israeli prisons. 
"Health situations are difficult. Any medical treatments are delayed, 
and right now in particular we cannot get dental treatments and the 
pain can be excruciating. Prisoners who are ill are all but ignored 
and we cannot get warm clothing from our families. If they bring it, 
the Israeli prison guards will not accept it."

The Mandela report issued today continued to indicate that the 
Israeli prison administration is imposing fines and penalties for 
reasons described as trivial, and that family members who are allowed 
to visit are forced to undergo humiliating inspections and inhumane 
treatment. "There is a shortage of cleaning materials and in turn a 
noticeable spread of insects and mice."

Another concern is that of the Palestinians being held under 
Administrative Detention, meaning without charge or trial, of which 
there are currently 390 in Al Naqab. Most are described as suffering 
from the psychological toll this takes as oft-times they are just 
hours from release before having their sentences extended again. Some 
have been imprisoned under this system for years.

Former Foreign Minister, Dr. Nasser Al Kidwa, met with Mandela 
officials and thanked the Institute for its efforts on behalf of the 
political prisoners. He said that it is of the utmost importance to 
bring international attention to the issue, focusing on the most 
egregious offenses, such as the delay in, or lack of, medical 
treatment and surgical operations, cruel treatment, torture, 
deprivation of visits and deficiencies in the quality and quantity of 
food. Solitary confinement and the policy of Administrative Detention 
are also of particular concern to Al Kidwa in his hopes to bring 
international intervention via international law and resolutions. In 
the meantime, the prisoners themselves are resting their hopes on 
forming a national unity government that will bring international 
light to all of the dark corners of the Israeli prison system.

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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