Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails - call to action
Manal is serving a 50 month sentence. Officially, she was accused of conspiracy in an attempted planning to kill. The details of her case show that she had attempted to carry weapons from one site to another. The attempt failed and she did not try to do it again and has never been part of any planning to any action. The Israeli Military Judge, who ruled in her case, said in the ruling remarks:
“Her role was very minor and insignificant in the planning and she did not know any pervious information about the attempt… she joined at a very late stage of planning… we have to mercy her son who was born in a very tough situation and who will spend his first years at prison… Manal did not participate in planning… she is not a member of or a supporter of any organization… she is not affiliated to any political faction, she had never been part of or accused of any violation in the past”
Despite these comments and despite the facts of her case, the Military Tribunal of Shemron decided to sentence her to maximum possible imprisonment term relative to such an accusation. The prison administration at Telmond Prison does not provide Manal and Nour with the special medical care they require, nor does it provide Nour with the milk he needs as his mother is unable breast feed him.
Extremely shocking is the information ADDAMEER presents on child prisoners:
Palestinian child detainees are subject to physical and psychological torture during their interrogation in order to force them to confess to activities they may or may not have done. The majority of confessions and sentences are related to throwing stones. Under extreme physical and psychological pressure, children often confess to such activities to end the circumstances they find themselves, often confessing to things they didn't do.
During interrogation, children are isolated from their families and lawyers are often not informed of the place of their detention. The child is usually not allowed to meet with a lawyer during the first period of interrogation, confining the child's world to the interrogation room and the interrogator, adding to the psychological stress the child already finds himself/herself in.
Child detainees are interrogated by either the Israeli police of by officers of the Israeli General Security Services (GSS). The initial interrogation period lasts for 4 days, with the possibility of renewal for another 4 days by the interrogation team. After this 8-day period, the child detainee must be brought before a military judge.
It is prohibited to use forms of torture such as shackling as a means of punishment against child prisoners. However, this is common practice in Israeli prisons with child prisoners. Child prisoners held for security reasons should be detained in separate sections and apart from criminal prisoners. In violation of this principle, Palestinian child prisoners detained for security reasons are held with Israeli criminal prisoners.
I ask, where in the civilised world do children who get imprisoned "for security reasons" in the same cells as adult criminals??