Israel: Palestinian prisoners suffering inhuman conditions of detention on hunger strike

26/08/2004
Press release
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The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) expresses its grave concern at the hunger strike observed by a large number of political prisoners detained in Israel.

Alerted by its member organizations Al Haq, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), the FIDH recalls that thousands of Palestinian political prisoners are currently on hunger strike in order to protest against their detention conditions and their treatment inside Israel Prison Service facilities.

The FIDH is extremely worried as the strike, that started on 15th August in 4 Israeli prisons, is now spreading throughout other detention facilities.

According the FIDH member organizations, the PCHR, Al Haq and PCATI, prisoners are routinely subjected to torture, degrading treatment and humiliation and especially to humiliating strip searches. Moreover, political prisoners are often placed in solitary confinement for extended periods of time.
Since 15th August 2004, Israeli authorities have taken harsh measures from the moment some prisoners declared their intention to strike, such as transferring dozens of “prison leaders” from general sections to solitary confinement, prohibiting all visits by families and lawyers to the prisoners.

The FIDH had already published a mission report in 2003 denouncing the bad conditions of detention of Palestinian prisoners in Israel and the impossibility for their families to visit them.
(Palestinian Detainees in Israel: Inhuman Conditions of Detention, July 2003: http://www.fidh.org/communiq/2003/il1407a.htm) .

The FIDH recalls that such measures contravene namely to the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, applicable in situations where individuals are deprived of their liberty.

The FIDH recalls that all individuals who are deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for their human dignity.

Considering that the prisoners’ demands are in conformity with the international standards ensuring a human treatment to individuals deprived of their liberty, the FIDH, together with its member organizations, urges the Israeli authorities to:

- ensure better conditions of detention to the Palestinian political prisoners detained in Israel;
- respect its international obligations under the ICCPR, the ICESCR, the Convention Against Torture;
- abide by the international Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.

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