Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Legal center: Condition of Palestinian minors in Israeli jails deteriorating

[ 07/04/2009 - 06:26 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Palestinian center for the defense of prisoners has revealed on Sunday that the Israeli occupation authority is still detaining 423 Palestinian minors in Israeli jails under harsh and miserable incarceration conditions.

In a report it issued in this regard and a copy of which was obtained by the PIC, the center pointed out that the Israeli prison guards were practicing psychological pressures on the young Palestinian captives, including sexual harassment in a bid to break their morale.

According to the center, out of the 423 juveniles, around 231 were put on trial, 182 were awaiting trial, and at least ten of them were arbitrarily put under administrative detention without any charge being tabled against them.

Among the children prisoners is Yousef Al-Zaqq, one year, who is detained with his mother Fatima Al-Zaqq after she delivered him last year at the Israeli Meir hospital in Kfar Saba colony.

Moreover, the center accused the IOA of medical neglect against the minor captives in the same way it does with other Palestinian prisoners, prompting an increase in the number of sick minor captives.

It added that strange and communicable diseases have appeared and started to spread out among the children captives as a result of that medical neglect.

At least ten of the minors, who are detained at the infamous Israeli Talmond prison, were poisoned few days ago after they ate rotten canned food given to them by the jail's administration.

Furthermore, the center accused the Israeli prisons authority of using a number of methods to demoralize the juveniles, including strip search and badmouthing them in a bid to pressure them into agreeing to work for and to collaborate with Israeli intelligence.

Moreover, the center disclosed that the detention cells where the children are jailed are not fit for "animals" rather than to be fit for human beings, stressing that the international and Arab legal associations were not doing much to bail those children out of the misery.

"This farce must end, and all international, Arab, and regional legal institutions must give more attention to this issue, and we must put it on top of our priorities during forums, conferences, and discussions", the center underlined.

"Where is the international efforts that should be exerted to give those children their rights?! Why are those children not released up till now?!", the center questioned in the report, urging Arab and international media to focus on, and to highlight the prisoners issue in general, and the issue of the minor captives in particular.

Around 11,000 Palestinian citizens, including hundreds of women, children, and sick people are locked up in different Israeli jails across occupied Palestine, many of them had been there for more than two decades.