April 15, 2010
On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners Day The 17th of April
· More than 19,000 Palestinian were under administrative detention in Israeli jails since year 2002
· More than 7,000 Palestinian are still under detention of whom three have been in jail for more than 30 years
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics issues a press release on the occasion of the 17th of April - The Palestinian Prisoners Day. 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.
315 prisoners in Israeli jails for more than 15 years
According to the data of the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners and Ex-prisoners, Israel has detained since 1967 more than 760,000 Palestinians including about 70,000 since the Aqsa Intifada. The data shows that 315 of current prisoners were arrested before the Oslo Agreement and have been in Israeli jails since then. Almost half of the 315 prisoners have been under Israeli detention for more than 20 years.
More than 7,000 Palestinian still under detention in Israeli jails
More than 7,000 Palestinian are under detention dispersed to 17 investigation and detention centers as well as prisons. There are 34 female prisoners and 270 child prisoners of whom 44 under the age of 16 years. There are 726 prisoners from the Gaza Strip, 183 prisoner from the Arab 48; while the majority of the prisoners are from the West Bank (6,280 prisoners) of whom 212 from Jerusalem. The data also indicates that more than 19,000 Palestinian were detained under administrative terms (detention without trial) since 2002 of whom 264 are still in detention. In addition, more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoner are still awaiting trail in Israeli jails.
More than 200 martyrs in Israeli interrogation centers and jails
The number of martyrs in Israeli jails due to torture, deprivation of health treatment or deliberate killing has amounted to about 200 since 1967 while 76 of these martyrs were killed since year 2000. The year 2007 had witnessed the largest number of martyrs among prisoners (7 martyrs) of whom 5 died due to lack of medical treatment; while there were 125 martyrs among prisoners during the period from 1967 till 2000 and that constitute about 62% of all martyrs among prisoners.
Prisoners are deprived from medical treatment
There are more than 1,500 cases of illness among prisoners in Israeli jails including heart problems, kidneys failure, and cancer. Israeli authorities deprive these prisoners from adequate medical treatment and often medication is limited to pain killers only. Prisoners are often subjected to isolated confinement that lead to psychological problems. The data indicates that about 14 prisoners had been subjected to isolated confinement for more than five years.
PGMC Press Information
· Interrogation and Torture:
The political prisoner, Qahra al-Sa’di, a mother of four spoke of Israeli intimation, humiliation, beatings and deprivation of sleep while in interrogation. She is currently serving three life sentences as well as 30 years in Israeli prisons. She was and continues to be subjected to vile language and beatings involving machine guns after her arrest in Jenin refugee camp. While being interrogated, Qahra faced what is termed ‘Shabah’, a slang word describing a method in which she was tied to a chair secured to the floor. She was handcuffed and had her arms pulled behind her back and then secured to the backside of the chair. This form of torture is done for hours on end and does not allow the person to move any part of their body. She remains in this position for numerous hours at a time while interrogators come and go.
· Married Prisoners:
Released political prisoner, Kahwla Mahammad al-Zaioti, is from the village of Jam’een near Nablus. She was imprisoned shortly after her marriage to the political prisoner Jaser Abu Omar who is currently still in prison. Both were taken from their house, leaving their daughters Salbeel age 6, and Ghada age 4 with no one to look after them. Both prisoners were subjected to similar forms of torture, vile language, brutal beatings and ‘shabah’. After interrogation, Khawla was moved to the Prison of Talmund were she raised her two year old daughter until both were finally released from prison.
· Sick and Disabled Prisoners:
The martyr Mr. Mohammad abu Hadouan from Jerusalem died in prison due to deterioration of his health condition and the adamant and illegal refusal of Israeli prison authorities to allow him to undergo open heart surgery. According to the medical diagnosis, Mr. Hadouan was experiencing heart failure and was in urgent need of medical care. He was denied medical attention and died while in prison in 2004.
· Child Prisoners:
There are 270 child prisoners currently being held in Israeli prisons. The recent case of Hassan al-Muhtaseb (12 years old) highlights the plight of child prisoners. He was detained near his home, taken handcuffed and blindfolded for interrogation in which he was accused of throwing stones. At the time of his arrest, there were no reports of any conflicts or clashes in the area. No witnesses or evidence of the claims of the Israeli soldiers against the child were brought forth during his trial. However, his family was requested to pay a “fine” of 5000 NIS. The fine was then reduced to 2000 NIS because the parents could not afford to pay the fine. Eventually the fine was dropped. This type of illegal arrest of young children happens regularly in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and stands in violation of several conventions and treaties which Israel is a signatory to, including article 37 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Child, ratified by Israel in 1991.
Possible contacts for features and stories:
(1) Osama Algul, Ministry of prisoners and ex-prisoners, 0598937045
(2) Oldest Political Prisoner in the World, Mr. Nael al-Barghouti (33 years in prison), his brother, Fakhri, is also in prison, , you can contact their father, Mr. Omar al-Barghouti at 0599771770
(3) Jawwad Al-Amoudi- International Law Group, 0598900567 or 0527030978.