عربي | עברית
April 2015

Palestinian Prisoners' Day
End Torture and Ill-Treatment

Shehdeh Dorgham (2008)
To mark Palestinian Prisoners' Day (17 April), four human rights organizations – Adalah, Al Mezan, PHR-I and PCATI – issued a joint statement calling on the international community to urge Israel to abide by international law regarding the human rights of Palestinian prisoners and detainees. The statement highlights the rising number of cases of torture and ill-treatment in Israel, and the particular need to protect Palestinian children who have been detained, tortured or ill-treated.

The Israeli authorities have continued using numerous measures to target prisoners' rights. Two days before Prisoners' Day, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld a sweeping ban on higher education for Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli prisons. This decision is a dramatic break with past precedents, as prisoners have been allowed to study via the Open University for over 20 years.
Another example is the conditions of transport for prisoners to medical centers and courts. Despite the promises to improve these conditions, prisoners continue to be subjected to long commutes in "posta" vehicles without food, water or bathroom breaks, leading many to refuse medical treatment or judicial proceedings.

Adalah is anticipating the continuation of harsh policies and legislation targeting prisoners' rights with the establishment of the new government coalition. In the last year, the state dramatically increased its use of administrative detention, which more than doubled from 181 in February 2014 to 424 in February 2015; and targeted the political expression of Palestinians in the Occupied Territory, particularly East Jerusalem. Adalah will continue to monitor pending bills that affect detainees' rights such as the force-feeding bill, and other proposals concerning criminal procedures against Palestinians designated as "security detainees", which increase the likelihood of torture and ill-treatment, and the extraction of false confessions under duress.
The legal defense of prisoners' rights should also be coupled with medical interventions to confront the physical and psychological consequences of torture, and to provide rehabilitation for victims. In honor of Prisoners' Day, Adalah, PHR-I and the Treatment and Rehabilitation Center convened a workshop in Ramallah to exchange information on legal and medical methods to combat torture.
Copyright © 2015 Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, All rights reserved.

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