Palestinian Prisoner's Rights


Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem
Chair of West Midland PSC

Briefing Note: Palestinian Prisoners’ RightsMarch 2011 This briefing note is being presented by Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights‐Israel  and Al  Mezan  Center  for  Human  Rights  (Gaza)  to  the  UN  Committee  on  the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which is holding its meeting on 7‐8 March 2011  in  Vienna  on  the  plight  of  Palestinian  political  prisoners  in  Israeli  prisons  and detention  facilities.  It  is  also  being  presented  to  the  EU  Parliament  Sub‐Committee  on Human Rights in advance of its meeting on 15 March 2011 in Brussels on the question of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, and in particular Palestinian children.

The note provides a general overview of recent statistics and conditions of confinement of Palestinian prisoners in Israel; reviews six new Israeli Supreme Court decisions; notes a new harsh criminal procedure law for “security suspects” and a series of proposed bills known  as  the  “Shalit  laws”;  and  recent  concluding  observations  and  concerns  of  three UN human rights treaty bodies as well as the conclusions of the UN Fact‐Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (“the Goldstone Report”).1. Palestinian Political Prisoners – General OverviewAs  of  January  2011,  5640  Palestinian  political  prisoners,  classified  as  “security prisoners”  by  Israel,  were  imprisoned  in  Israel,  of  which,  37  were  women,1  3  were detained under the Incarceration of Illegal Combatants Law,2 and 187 were being held in administrative detention.3 213 Palestinian political prisoners were minors, including 30 between the ages of 12 and 15.4  Palestinian  political  prisoners  and  detainees  incarcerated  by  Israel  are  subject  to  far harsher pre‐trial detention laws (e.g., the lengthy prohibition on meeting with  lawyers), interrogations  and  conditions  of  confinement  than  other  prisoners  and  detainees. Regarding  Israel  Security  Agency  (ISA)  facilities,  testimonies  taken  by  several  human                                                           1 See relevant statistics on the website of the Women’s Organization for Political Prisoners: A fourth case of detention under the Incarceration of Illegal Combatants Law was documented by the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights in February 2011. It is not included in the statistics above, which covers the period to January 2011. 3 See B’Tselem’s statistical reports based on official data from the Israel Prison Service

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