Solitary Confinement Causes Neurological Disorder to Palestinian Prisoner

RAMALLAH, September 2, 2015 (WAFA) – A Palestinian prisoner who has been in solitary confinement for eight years in Israeli jails has recently been suffering a psychological and neurological disorder, according to the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs.

Karem Ajwa, an attorney with the Commission, said 33-year-old Mohammad Jubran Khalil from Ramallah has in recent months been suffering an increasing psychological and neurological disorder due to his solitary confinement in Asqalan prison. Khalil has also been denied family visitations for over nine months.

Khalil was detained in November 2006 and is serving a life sentence.

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

Detainees in solitary confinement in Israeli jails are held in empty cells containing only a mattress and a blanket, and rely on the Israeli Prison Service to address all other needs.

Adalah, a Haifa-based human rights group, says that “solitary confinement of Palestinian political prisoners who are classified as “security prisoners” is doubly harsh because of the restrictions imposed on their contacts outside of prison, even when they are not held in isolation.”

“All types of solitary confinement in prison should end, given its severe impact on the physical and psychological health of prisoners,” Adalah adds.

“Solitary confinement constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment and thus violates the International Covenant Against Torture (CAT) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Israel Medical Association and Ministry of Health should strongly oppose its use as a method of imprisonment.”