Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Conditions deteriorate in Eshel Prison without accountable administration

Jenin / Ali Samoudi [PNN] 17 February 2009 – The Palestinian Prisoners Society said today that the conditions in the Eshel Prison are continuing to deteriorate since the recent transfer of the Department Director.

Officers and guards are using arbitrary actions and new restrictions which have exacerbated the suffering of Palestinians.

The list of banned goods has been expanded, says the PPS, obliging Palestinians to purchase necessities from the prison store at exorbitant prices and a random schedule.

In a report issued after a visit by the PPS lawyer investigating transfers of detainees, several cases were taken into account.

Safwat Jibril Jabour was sentenced on 8 October 2002 to two life times plus 22 years. The 34 year old explained to the PPS that the general situation in the prison is “poor and chaotic in the absence of a director.” He said, “Officers administering the sections are imposing conditions and restrictions that are part of a new arbitrary system.”

The prison consists of two 18-room sections, the first being number 10 in which Fateh members are kept, while Section 11 houses Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

There is a complete separation of them by the Prison Department despite the absence of friction, says the PPS. “The jailers forbid any meeting between the political prisoners in Eshel,” said Jabour. There are representatives for the political prisoners, including Chris Bandak of Fateh.

The PPS lawyer reported today that no one has been able to solve the problem of the prison store, Al Cantina, imposed on the Palestinians. He met with a Salfit man, Ramzi Mohammad Abu Shemeh, who explained that families are forbidden to bring clothes. Other prisoners who are from Jordan and Gaza have not received their funds to use in the store and are obliged to go without the most basic essentials.

Khalid Ali is from Gaza and has been detained since September of 2007 along with his brother. They are banned from receiving visits by relatives or funds and supplies.

Thirty seven year old Hani Atta Al Zaanin is from northern Gaza’s Beit Hanoun. Imprisoned since 2006, he suffers heart problems which require surgery. However like thousands of Palestinian political prisoners he is refused medical treatment.

The conditions, already substandard, are worsening in this Beerseeba area prison, reports the Palestinian Prisoners Society which issued a call for the implementation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.