Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Palestinian prisoners denied lawyers and kept in conditions not fit for humans

GAZA, (PIC)-- Haaretz newspaper published a confidential report prepared by the Israeli association of jurists revealing the tragic and inhumane incarceration conditions which the Palestinian prisoners imprisoned in solitary cells are living in.

The report pointed out that hundreds of Palestinian detainees were locked up over the past years in solitary confinement and most of them were leaders of prisoners.

The Israeli activists who made the report worked as official inspectors sent by the association of jurists to visit Israeli prisons and meet with Palestinian detainees.

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.

The report pointed out that the isolation of detainees from other prisoners in solitary for a long period of time has psychological effects on them and many develop mental problems inside these cells.

In another incident, the same newspaper said that about 90 percent of Palestinian prisoners interrogated by the Shin Bet security apparatus are prevented from consulting with an attorney, according to a report published by the public committee against torture in Israel and the Palestinian prisoners' society.

The Shin Bet refused in the past to provide data on the numbers of prisoners who are prevented from meeting with a lawyer, but Haaretz quoted the Shin Bet as saying that it has legal clearance to keep certain detainees from lawyers.

According to this report, 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.

The report said that the numbers of those whose right to an attorney was blocked between 2000 and 2007 ranged between 8, 379 to 10, 773 detainees.

Thanks to the Palestine Information Center. The website came under cyber attack from Israel and has only recently come back up.

Asia 1 aid convoy reaches Gaza, left India in November

Indian convoy arrived in Gaza yesterday, although reports indicate that Iranian citizens were barred from crossing into Gaza from Egypt. Of the 160 human rights activists involved only 105 were allowed into Gaza. The main bulk of the mission's cargo is arriving by sea and docked in Egypt on Sunday. The Jerusalem Post reports Israeli security sources claiming Iran smuggled 1,000 mortar shells into Gaza, among other munitions. All humanitarian and military aid is of course gratefully received by the besieged Gazans.
A convoy carrying humanitarian aid from India has reached the Gaza Strip with 1,000 tons of food and medical supplies.

The convoy left India in November and traveled through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria. The aid shipment was then delivered by sea to Egypt, before reaching Gaza late Sunday.

The aid mission involved more than 100 human rights activists. more

Israel briefly invades southern Gaza, rocket fired in retaliation as West ignores Bil'in killing

Jawaher Abu Rahma Funeral on Saturday – Photo By Hamdi Abu Rahma

Business as usual in Palestine for the Israelis. The IDF invaded near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza strip, destroying agriculture land and firing indiscriminately as they went. In response a rocket was fired into Israel today. No casualties have been reported on either side.

Meanwhile at Bil'in on the West Bank the weekly peaceful demonstrations against Israel's Apartheid Wall and settlements saw a woman villager killed last week after being gassed by 'crowd control soldiers'. A further six people were injured.
Jawaher Abu Rahmah, a 34-year-old woman from Bil’in, died this morning in a Ramallah hospital as result of poisoning caused by tear gas inhalation. Jawaher fainted after inhaling a large quantity of gas during the weekly protest against the Wall in Bil’in and was rushed immediately to Ramallah for treatment, where she remained until passing away this morning. more