RAMALLAH, October 18, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities are maltreating, torturing and abusing Palestinian detainees, who were recently detained during the ongoing unrest across the West Bank and are currently incarcerated in Etzion detention center near Bethlehem, according to the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs (CPA).
Hassan Sheikh, an attorney with CPA, said that, he was allowed – after strenuous efforts – to visit 23 Palestinian detainees – all of whom were detained from Bethlehem, Hebron, Jerusalem and Ramallah – held in Etzion jail.
The lawyer said that in the aftermath of the recent security escalation in the West Bank, there has been a noticeable trend of maltreatment by the Israeli prison authorities against Palestinian detainees, including the unjustified aggressive searches and detonation of doors of detainees’ homes.
The detainees are also subjected to humiliation, verbal abuse, and brutal beatings during and after their detention as well as during their transfer between jails, noted the lawyer.
Other means of torture also include unleashing attack dogs on detainees, including minors.
The lawyer cited the cases of detainees Mohammad Khalaf, 14, Wadee Jundi, 15, Mohammad Ghar, 17, Asef Amour, and Abdul-Majid Jaafreh, all of whom were assaulted and severely bitten by dogs unleashed on them by the Israeli prison guards.
Meanwhile, CPA said that sick Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli Ramleh prison declared a three-day hunger strike in mourning of Fadi Darbi, a Palestinian detainee who died in mid October, while being detained in Israeli army detention camp for political prisoners, due to medical negligence by the prison service.
The prisoners in Ramleh told CPA that they are deliberately deprived of suitable healthcare, and are only allowed to medical checkup at the prison’s clinic, where medical standards are far below those of private clinics.
Some sick prisoners are also transferred from Israeli hospitals to the prison’s clinic despite of the urgent need for hospitalization. The sick detainees are often discharged out of the clinic without finishing their course of treatment, which further aggravates their already poor health conditions.
There are some 1500 sick prisoners in Israeli jails, of whom 80 prisoners are suffering from serious health problems and do not receive the necessary treatment; they suffer from malignant diseases, paralysis, and disabilities, in addition to cases of mental illness and neurological disorder.
The prisoner rights group Addameer asserts that the Israeli Prison Service maintains a systematic policy of medical negligence toward Palestinian detainees.
The group reports that the “lack of natural sunlight and moisture in the prisons, along with a poor, imbalanced diet and restrictions on use of the prison yard for exercise, can lead to health problems such as skin diseases, extreme fatigue, anemia and weakness, kidney problems, rheumatism, dental problems and ulcers.”
The only prison hospital available for Palestinian prisoners is Ramle hospital, and only in certain circumstances Israel allows prisoners there for medical care. The prison hospital does not provide a good standard of healthcare.