MAY 2005

april 17th was National Day for Palestinians in Prisons

On April 17th every year, Palestinians stand unified in solidarity with Arab and Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli custody. Thousands of Palestinians have been imprisoned as a result of their struggle for their inalienable and legitimate right to self determination and the right to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Israeli occupation authorities hold approximately 8043 Palestinians, including 115 females with 7 of them under administrative detention orders and 11 juvenile females in Tal Mund Prison. About 772 Palestinians are held under automatically-renewable administrative detention orders in various detention compounds. After thorough follow up of their incarceration conditions, the Mandela Institute for Human Rights can easily conclude they are held under cruel and inhuman conditions such as:

- Prisoners are subjected to prolonged solitary confinement in
prisons like Ayalon-Ramla, Beer Shiva' and Kfar Youna prisons. Israeli military authorities use solitary confinement as a weapon to break prisoners' resolve and not as a disciplinary measure for the slightest offence in addition to imposing heavy fines;

- Ill treatment and torture of inmates are wide spread especially during interrogation in centers like Ashqelon and Jalama prisons, Petah Tikva and the Russian Compound in occupied Jerusalem and in "Collaborators' quarters in Beer Shiva' and Jalama prisons and in Megiddo detention compound;

- Israeli military authorities use the provocative and degrading strip search on a daily basis;

- Prisoners are deprived of family visits. Israeli Prison Authority restricts 2500 Palestinian families from visiting their loved ones under feeble security pretences;

- Families that are allowed to visit jailed members can only see them from behind thick glass partitions;

- Israeli occupation authorities continue to use administrative
detention i.e. imprisonment of individuals without charge or trial, against thousands of Palestinians. Occupation authorities often renew these orders automatically for years. Some individuals have been incarcerated for the past three years under such orders. Detainees at the Negev military detention compound have decided to boycott Israeli military tribunals believing they are concocted to keep them in custody with fabricated evidence. Three days ago, they ended their boycott in an attempt to test the intentions of the compound's administration;

- Prison clinics intentionally delay provision of medical treatment. About 22 inmates are held at the Ramla Prison Hospital with severe illnesses such as cardiac disorders, cancer, diabetes and kidney disorders. The database at Mandela Institute shows there are approximately 482 infirm inmates including 150 suffering from chronic illnesses. Delay of medical treatment augments their already poor health conditions;

- Israeli occupation authorities hold 115 Palestinian females at Tal Mund Prison including 20 married and 8 infirm inmates. Manal Abdul- Razeq Ghanem, a Palestinian female from Tulqarem and was arrested on 17 April 2003 is serving a 4-year sentence. She suffers Thalathemia and her son, Nour, are deprived of necessary medical treatment. Amena Mona has a disk hernia; Faten Daraghmeh suffers a kidney stone and internal bleeding; Suna Ra'ie suffers psychological disorders; Su'ad Abu- Hamad complains of back pro blems; Hala Husny Jaber has torn muscles in her right leg; Latifa Abu-Dra'a has diabetes, brain infection and uterus dysfunctions while 'Abir 'Odeh suffers psychological disorders also.

- Palestinian male juveniles are subjected to ill treatment and torture including sexual harassment by Israeli common criminals, threat of rape and are often threatened by dogs to force out confessions.

The Israeli government continues undeterred to violate the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention related to the protection of civilians at time of war. It also violates the United Nations Minimum Standards for the Treatment of Prisoners as well as other international instruments and norms provided in the international law and the humanitarian international law.