Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hunger Strike Ongoing, Violations Against Detainees Escalating

Sunday October 09, 2011 03:51 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe’, stated Saturday that Palestinian political detainees in Israeli prisons are going on with their hunger strike to demand their legal rights, despite Israel's escalating measures aimed at breaking their strike.
Qaraqe’ added that the Israeli Prison Administration claims it is negotiating with the detainees and listening to their demands, but its main aim is to delay the “talks” as long as possible without seriously listening to the legitimate demands, the Ma'an News Agency reported.

The minister’s statements came during a visit to a solidarity tent in the Duheisha refugee camp in Bethlehem, where a number of residents are holding a solidarity hunger strike.

Qaraqe’ stated that the Israeli Prison Administration is “physically and emotionally torturing the striking detainees, placing dozens of them in solitary confinement, and even preventing them from having plastic cups for water and salt in their rooms.”

He also stated that the detainees in Asqalan Prison are now also boycotting the prison clinic due to the harsh treatment they face when seeking medical attention. As a result, the prison police are forcibly dragging them to the clinic.

All sorts of communication with the detainees are now blocked, visitations denied, TV sets and radios confiscated, and communication denied between the detainees in different sections of Asqalan prison.

The minister said that the health conditions of four detainees in Asqalan currently in solitary confinement are seriously deteriorating.

The Israeli Prison Administration also forced 65 striking detainees in Ohali Kidar Prison into solitary confinement by placing every four detainees in one tiny cell, and also confiscated their watches to keep them confused.

The 53 striking detainees in Shatta Prison are undergoing attacks and psychological abuse inflicted upon them by the prison administration and guards.

In Ofer prison, the prison administration placed 12 striking detainees in solitary confinement after attacking and beating them.

Qaraqe’ issued an appeal to the International Red Cross to act quickly and visit the striking detainees, and warned of a potential humanitarian crisis in all Israeli prisons and detention centers.

He said that all activities and protests held in solidarity with the detainees, in Palestine and in exile, would continue and escalate until Israel abides by international law and starts treating the detainees in accordance with all international treaties, including the Fourth Geneva Conventions.