Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sa'adat sent to solitary confinement again after hunger strike

Date: 17 / 06 / 2009 Time: 14:39

Sa'adat [Ma'anImages]
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli prison authorities have decided to strip Ahmad Sa’adat, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), of his rights in punishment for a recent nine day hunger strike, according to the Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe.

The hunger strike, which ended on Sunday, was in protest of an earlier decision to remand him to solitary confinement.

Qaraqe told Ma’an that the administration of Askhelon prison held a hearing on the case, which Sa’adat refused to attend. The hearing resulted in a draconian set of sanctions against Sa’adat, including denying him family visits, banning him from visiting the prison canteen and smoking. In addition he must pay a 200 shekel fine and serve another week in solitary confinement.

Qaraqe said that such regulations “revenge” for Sa’adat’s hunger strike, which he said was an attempt to dramatize Israel’s illegal treatment of Palestinian prisoners.

Qaraqe blamed the Israeli government policies that he said endanger prisoners’ psychological and physical health and lives.

He added that there are fifteen prisoners who have been isolated in solitary confinement for years. He said there is “no legal or moral pretext” for these rights violations.

He also said the ministry had contacted various international parties in hopes that they will intervene in the case.

The Israel army seized Sa’adat in a raid on a Palestinian Authority prison in Jericho in 2006, where he had been held since 2001 over the assassination of Israel’s right-wing tourism minister, Rehavam Ze’evi.