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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– A study issued by the Israeli public committee against torture and the Palestinian prisoner society revealed that the Shin Bet security apparatus prevents 70 to 90 percent of Palestinian detainees from having access to an attorney.

According to this study that was published by Haaretz newspaper, out of 11,970 Palestinian prisoners the Shin Bet interrogated between 2000 and 2007, the numbers of those who were deprived of seeing lawyers ranged between 8, 379 to 10, 773

Maya Rosenfeld, the author of the study, stated that during prolonged periods when prisoners are kept from meeting with lawyers, the Shin Bet utilizes interrogation methods that run contrary to international law, Israeli laws and Israeli commitments to avoid such methods.

Among these interrogation methods are tying prisoners for a long time to a chair with their hands behind the back, sleep deprivation, threats usually of harming family members, humiliation and being kept for long periods in unsanitary cells.

Haaretz said the Shin Bet refused in the past to provide data on the numbers of prisoners who are prevented from meeting with a lawyer and the petition filed in this regard with courts by the human rights group Yesh Din and the movement for freedom of information in March 2009 is still pending consideration.

It added that about 70 percent of hundreds of appeals that were submitted by the public committee against torture to the state attorney, asking to revoke orders preventing meeting with a lawyer, were rejected. In dozens of cases that were deliberated by the Israeli high court, the judges were convinced by the Shin Bet’s arguments.

Meanwhile, the international Tadamun (solidarity) foundation for human rights said the Israeli prison authority decided on Monday to revoke the policy of deducting some days from the imprisonment terms of Palestinian prisoners.

Tadamun foundation Official Ahmed Al-Betawi explained that the prison administrations told the prisoners about the decision to freeze this policy which states that every prisoner spending one year or more would receive deduction of days from his term according to the years he or she serves in prison, for example, 21 days are subtracted from the prisoner who completes the first year of his term, and 35 from the one who serves two years, etc.

Betawi noted that this decision means that the date of releasing many prisoners who are supposed to be released in the near future will be extended, the thing which will upset the families who have yearned to see their sons and daughters soon.

The Israeli prison authority also decided to ban the entry of winter clothing to Palestinian prisoners in the jails of Ashkelon, Negev, Nafha, Ramon that are located in cold areas.

Sources from inside these prisons said that the prisoners are suffering a lot as a result of the recent spell of cold weather and rain in the area.

The sources added that the prisoners in Ashkelon are still deprived from seeing their families until further notice, which increased their suffering and the administration threatens them to transfer them to other prisons.

For its part, the Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs said that what was revealed by the Israeli association of jurists about the tragic imprisonment conditions of Palestinian prisoners locked up in solitary cells is only part of the truth and the tip of the iceberg.

The ministry, however, stressed that exposing such violations is a good step in order to keep the world informed about what Israel is really doing against Palestinian prisoners in its jails and its violation of international law.

The association of jurists had disclosed days ago a report talking in some detail about the tragic and inhumane incarceration conditions which the Palestinian prisoners imprisoned in solitary cells are living in.

According to the report, the isolation cells in all Israeli prisons, especially in Ayalon and Shikma jails, are like the cells of dungeons, small, infested with insects, smelly, cold, without windows and totally unsuitable for humans. palestine-info


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December 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

Posted in World News

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