Prisoners Day Report puts Number at Close to 5000

RAMALLAH, April 16, 2013 (WAFA) – As Palestinians prepare to mark Prisoners Day on Wednesday, the Prisoner Club said in a report that as of 2013 there were close to 5,000 Palestinian prisoner spread over 27 prisons, jails, detention centers and interrogation centers.

It said 106 of the prisoners have been in jail since before the signing of the Oslo accords between Israel and PLO in 1993, which means they have been detained for more than 20 years, and 50 of them have been detained more than 25 years including Karim Younis, the longest serving prisoner after serving 31 years in Israeli prisons.

There are now 14 woman prisoners with Lina Jarbouni being the longest serving prisoner, so far held for 11 years out of her 20-year sentence, and 235 child prisoners in Israeli jails.

The report said that administrative detention “is the prisoner’s worst enemy.”

It said Israel can detain any Palestinian indefinitely without the opportunity for legal counsel or court hearing for what the Israelis call the “secret file” that is compiled by Israeli intelligence. It can range anywhere from one month to six months, renewable indefinitely by orders of military commanders using the “secret file” excuse.

There are currently 200 administrative detainees, 14 of them are members of parliament.

The report said there is no official number for sick prisoners but it is estimated that the number is around 700.

It accused the Israeli authorities of neglecting the health of prisoners, many of them suffer from heart conditions, lung, kidney and vertebral problems. Some of prisoners are paralyzed, amputees or dismembered with intolerable pain that is only addressed by pain killers and sedatives.

Some Israeli prisons are filled with Palestinian prisoners held in solitary confinement as a punishment. Solitary confined prisoners live in the worst sections of the prison in conditions stripped out of minimum human rights, exposed to abuse and humiliation on daily basis. Some compare solitary confinement to being buried alive.

Hunger strikes started in the past two years, said the report, which was sparked by Khader Adnan in an attempt to have needs addressed creating a new approach of Palestinian resistance.

Adnan’s hunger strike was in response to  his detention administratively and had brought the issue of Palestinian prisoners and  Israeli atrocities into the international spotlight, said the report.

However, sick prisoners and rearrested former prisoners have now joined the hunger strike phenomena with the case of Samer Issawi as the most obvious one.

Issawi started his hunger strike in August to protest his rearrested after his release in the October 2011 prisoners exchange deal.

Source: WAFA News