RAMALLAH, January 18, 2015 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said, in a statement Sunday, that the families of Palestinian prisoners, held in Israeli jails, are frequently subjected to humiliating treatment by the Israeli prison authority while visiting their relative inmates.
The Committee said that, to name just a few, women are occasionally asked to partially take off clothes during inspection, for alleged security measures.
The right to family visits is an entrenched right in international law, expressly provided for in the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, the European Prison Rules, and, in relation to child detainees, the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
According to Addameer, a local human rights group, family visits are routinely, and often arbitrarily, restricted or cancelled by the Israeli authorities, which is in complete contradiction with Israel’s responsibility, as the Occupying Power, under international law.
More than 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners, most from the West Bank, are currently incarcerated in Israeli jails under security pretences. Prisoners from Gaza have nevertheless been denied family visitation since the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007.