Monday, June 6, 2011

PA: Israel detained prisoner's daughter during visit

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Guards at an Israeli prison detained a 13-year-old girl visiting her father, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Prisoners Affairs said Monday.

Prison guards detained Samah Majdi Musallam while she was visiting her father, who is serving a 13-year sentence in an Israeli prison in the Negev desert, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the girl was separated from her father by an iron mesh fence when guards rushed to detain her. She was accused of trying to smuggle something to her father, the statement said.

She was interrogated by Israeli police and tried at a court in Beersheva in southern Israel, the ministry added.

PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe said the case was not unprecedented.

"Several times prisoners' relatives have been detained during visits under trivial pretexts. In fact family visits have become a means of punishment and humiliation," Qaraqe said.