Tragic conditions experienced by Palestinian isolated prisoners

Illustration Photo
Illustration Photo

Friends of Humanity International issued today Sunday a report* about the Palestinian prisoners withering in the solitary confinement at the Israeli occupation jails. Israel is described as seeking to disseminate its expertise in oppressing and torturing the Palestinian prisoners all over the world.

The Organization states that the occupational forces apply the isolation policy on a number of Palestinian prisoners with the aim to degrade them and turn them into sick and depressed individuals who are incapable of leading a normal life.

The report lists the names of thirteen Palestinian prisoners who are confirmed as totally isolated from the outer world for some years.

The Organization presents a detailed account of the life of the prisoners and the tragic circumstances which they are forced to endure inside the solitary dungeons that are characterized by poor ventilation and high humidity. The prisoners are not allowed more than one hour to go out of these isolated rooms. The quality of the meals offered to the prisoners is so poor that they develop several relevant diseases such as anemia, malnutrition and poor vision.

The Organization confirms that most of the isolated prisoners are denied the right to see their families during visitation time, that they buy food items from the prison kiosk at unreasonably high prices that overburdens their budget, whereby the price of one liter of olive oil is 40 shekels (more than $10). The jail authorities have barred the exchange of the necessary supplies between the isolated prisoners while the jailers have gone too far in brutalizing the prisoners. They punished the prisoner Mazen Malssa for attempting to pass a prayer rug to the Prisoner Ibrahim Hamed by placing him in the retribution section (called Snouk) and imposing a penalty of 200 shekel.

The Organization draws attention that the jail authorities seek to aggravate the prisoners’ agony by forcing them to share the dungeons with Israeli criminal prisoners who have become a source of additional suffering to the Palestinian prisoners. They behave in an improper way and use indecent language with the prisoners.

Friends of Humanity International indicates that the spread of diseases among the isolated prisoners is a common phenomenon that is associated with the unhealthy conditions and inhumane treatment endured by the prisoners in the isolation sections. The physical and mental health of some prisoners has deteriorated as they developed critical diseases such as pneumonia and psychic disorders. Additionally, the negligence of the jail doctor, the prescription of pain reliever to all sick cases and inattention to critical cases has been an established policy at the Israeli prisons for tens of years.

The Organization confirms that night attacks and search campaigns accompanied by beating and violent oppression by the occupational security squads generate indignation on the part of the prisoners. The jail administration applies ruthless punitive measures as the prisoners are sent to the “Snouk”, which is an 180cmx150cm room that does not provide sufficient space for sleeping or praying and offers only a mattress and two containers; one for drinking water and the second for urination.

The Organization states that the authorities obstruct the lawyers’ visits to the prisoners and deny the presence of the prisoner in the jail.

It illustrates the steps taken by the prisoner over the past years to confront the isolation policy including turning down the meals offered to them by the jail administration. In some cases, the prisoners have staged open hunger strikes with the aim to force their way out of the solitary confinement and join the other prisoners in the open sections.

The Organization makes it clear that the Israeli authorities give misleading justification of the isolation policy claiming that the isolated prisoners are dangerous and have carried out aggressive military operations, or that they enjoy a master stature, broad knowledge and profound experience that influence the rest of the prisoners.

The authorities aim to undermine the spirits and will of the prisoners so that they become soulless bodies, and to spread such diseases among them that would weaken their physical strength and turn them into helpless and powerless individuals due to rheumatism and poor vision. Given the fact that some prisoners spend five or seven years in narrow and small rooms that do not enable their eyes to capture any distance beyond two meters, an isolated prisoner inevitably becomes vulnerable to severe vision problems.

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