Friday, May 8, 2009

As part of long-term campaign Tirawi rejects court after orange uniforms imposed on prisoners

08.05.09 - 09:33

Bethlehem / PNN – Palestinian Legislative Council member of the Fateh party, Jamal Al Tirawi refused to appear before the Israeli military court of Salem while in an orange uniform.

He was due in court eight more times throughout the months of May and June as 11 additional witnesses are still to be heard. But the year long battle to stop the imposition of orange uniforms on Palestinian political prisoners was finally lost last week.

Al Tirawi, an ex-spokesperson of Fateh in the PLC was arrested in May 2007 during an Israeli raid on the northern West Bank town of Nablus. He is accused of having recruited youths for the Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed resistance wing of Fateh, and for having coordinated preparations for a sacrificial operation in 2002.

The Deputy refused to appear before the military court, where evidence is routinely “secret” in an orange uniform. The Israeli Department of Prisons has just recently decided to compel Palestinian political prisoners to wear them which led Tirawi to say, “We will start a strike if the penitentiary administration is determined to impose orange uniforms on prisoners.”

He continued, “The administration of Al Naqab Prison has refused detainees visits from their families as a way of putting pressure on them.” Al Tirawi continued to call on the Palestinian members of the Knesset to expose the “arbitrary practices against the prisoners before the Israeli Parliament.”

He also invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership to organize an international conference to discuss the Israeli decision.