Prisoners in Israeli Solitary Confinement Suffer Appalling Health Conditions

RAMALLAH, January 20, 2015 (WAFA) – The Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs Committee Tuesday said that three prisoners who are held in solitary confinement in al-Ramla prison are suffering from terrible health conditions.

The Committee said in a press release that the prisoners in question are Shalish Daraghma from Tubas northeast Nablus, Shukri Khawaja from Ramallah, and a Belgian prisoner, according to a press release by the Committee.

The Palestinian Authority department of prisoners’ affairs said in a statement the Belgian prisoner, identified only as Alex is being held “on charges of infiltrating Israeli borders to participate in resistance against the Israeli occupation.”

The Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs Committee press release pointed out that it’s very difficult for the lawyers to arrange for a visit.

The Committee’s Lawyer Hanan al-Khaltib stated that prisoners in solitary confinement are subjected to severe pressure and restrictions; they are psychologically tortured, and are shackled even during family and lawyer visits.

Solitary confinement involves small cells in special blocs isolated from other prisoners in the same prison. The size of the cells is reported to be 2×2 meters and the use of any electric equipment is absolutely prohibited. Further, the movement of prisoners held in solitary confinement is restricted.

According to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan Méndez, solitary confinement is bound to cause “mental and physical suffering amounting to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

The American friends Service Committee reported that solitary confinement “fits the definition of torture as stated in several international human rights treaties, and thus constitutes a violation of human rights law.”

For example, the United Nations Convention Against Torture defined torture as “any state-sanctioned act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person” for information, punishment, intimidation, or for a reason based on discrimination.”