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A Palestinian official says Palestinian prisoners are subjected to the most inhumane treatment and are tortured in Israeli prisons, which are even more gruesome than Nazi concentration camps.
In an interview with Iran's Fars News Agency on Sunday, Palestinian Minister for Captives Affairs Ataollah Abu Sabah said of the 44,000 Palestinian inmates currently languishing in Israeli prisons, seven are women and 23 are members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Abu Sabah described the desert prison of Naqab (Negev), where the detainees are kept in tents, as the Israeli regime's worst prison. Last year, an Israeli TV station released video footage of Palestinian detainees being tortured by Israeli troops in the notorious Naqab prison in 2008, as a result of which one Palestinian died and several others sustained injuries. The Palestinian official further confirmed reports that the relatives of the inmates and sometimes even their lawyers are forced to strip and are interrogated. In late December 2010, a human rights group called Public Committee against Torture in Israel revealed that Palestinian detainees are systematically denied the right to meet a lawyer during interrogations. Being shackled to chairs for long periods, sleep deprivation, intimidation, torture and excruciating detention conditions are some of the instances documented by the rights group in its report. Abu Sabah went on to add that stripping captives in the subzero cold in the winter is one of the most common torture methods of the Israeli regime. The ill captives, he said, are deprived of even the most basic medical treatment, adding that the inmates suffering from medical conditions are not few in number and face gradual death in the regime's prison Israel has some secret prisons where it keeps some of the first captives of the Resistance Movement, Abu Sabah said, adding that the regime has even abducted activists from other Arab countries, whose fate is unknown. Israel Prison Service (IPS) Director Aharon Franco announced in October that there are several prisons in Israel, including Damon prison, Ramle's Neve Tirza prison, and the Ma'asiyahu prison, that are no longer fit for inmates. Franco also said the standard in the US is to allocate eight meters of space for each inmate and the standard is six meters in Europe. In Israel, however, just four meters are allocated for each inmate.
Consider, for example, this astonishing statistic: “almost half of all the prisoners held by the Israeli prison system are Palestinians who have been sent to prison by the military courts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)” (68). Furthermore, this share seems to have been consistently high over a long period: the figure stood between 45 and 60 percent during the first two decades after the 1967 occupation
A.M., a 15-year-old Palestinian from Beit Ummar village near Hebron, was arrested on 26 May, held in Gush Etzion detention centre, interrogated for six days allegedly using torture, then released after he “confessed” to throwing stones. He said security officials attached an electric cable to his genitals and threatened to give him electric shocks. In August, two NGOs, one Palestinian and the other Israeli, filed complaints to the Israeli police and army about his alleged torture. The police complaint was closed on the ground of “insufficient evidence”, while the army was still reviewing the complaint at the end of 2010.
Detention without trial Israel continued to impose a system of administrative detention whereby Palestinians are held for prolonged periods without charge or trial. At least 264 Palestinians were subject to administrative detention orders in 2010. Some had been held for more than two years. Moatasem Nazzal, a 16-year-old student from Qalandiya refugee camp near Ramallah, was arrested without explanation at his home on 20 March. He was interrogated while shackled. He was given three successive administrative detention orders, keeping him in prison until 26 December 2010.
Prison conditions – denial of family visits Around 680 Palestinian prisoners continued to be denied family visits, some for a third year, because Palestinians in Gaza remained barred from travelling into Israel, where the prisoners are held, since the imposition of the Gaza blockade.
Unfair trials Palestinians in the OPT subject to Israel’s military justice system continued to face a wide range of abuses of their right to a fair trial. They are routinely interrogated without a lawyer and, although they are civilians, are tried before military not ordinary courts.