Monday, February 2, 2009

Attoun's family: forbidden to visit the other half

02.02.09 - 13:20

ImagePNN exclusive / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh – Half of his family is in prison and all of them are kept apart. Mohammad Attoun has six sons, three are in prison and the other three are forbidden to visit.

On Sunday Attoun took his daughter in law and grandchildren to the Israeli Askalan Prison.

Ahmed Attoun is a political prisoner. His “punishment is extended to his parents, his wife and children,” as is reported. Not his wife, nor aging father, brothers or his own children are allowed to see him.

Hajj Mohammad was eager to see his boy, the family said today. “It’s been two months, but what was surprising is that he was suddenly banned.”

Ahmed is now in solitary confinement and is denied the right to visits or to use the Cantina store where political prisoners normally purchase items such as soap and food.

The Palestinian official had given a speech on Friday in which he referred to “the steadfastness of the people of the Gaza Strip in the face of Israeli aggression.” The Israeli administration grabbed Ahmed and threw him into solitary.

Ahmed Mohammad Attoun is a deputy in the Palestinian Legislative Council, arrested on 29 June 2006 along with dozens of other officials during that time period. The Israeli administration went on a major arrest campaign after the PLC elections in which those running on the Change and Reform ticket won. The bloc was affiliated with the Hamas party and the Israelis, along with the United States, did not accept the choice made at the ballot boxes.

Ahmed Attoun was sentenced to a period of 42 months in prison. He is married with four children between the ages of five and 10 years. On 30 June 2006 the Israeli Interior Ministry revoked his Jerusalem residency by claiming he owed allegiance to the state of Israel but having won in the elections showed that he had allegiance to the Palestinian Authority.

The second son in the family is Iyad, imprisoned a year and two months ago. He is in Jalboa Prison, sentenced for two years. This married father of four already spent six years in Israeli prisons and is prohibited from seeing his father or family members.

The third son, Mahmoud Attoun, has spent 16 years in Israeli prisons. Currently in Nafha Prison, he was banned from seeing his father for five years. He is charged with armed resistance activities.

Their aging father Mohammad Attoun has contacted legal institutions to intervene and end the ban on visits between the separated halves of his family.