The Palestinian Centre For Human Rights (PCHR): Palestinian Prisoner’s Day: PCHR Demands International Community Take Immediate Action to Pressure Israel towards Improving Prisoners’ Living Conditions, Ending Its Violations, and Releasing Them.
Palestinian Prisoner’s Day is celebrated every year on the 17th of April to remind the entire world of the Palestinian prisoners’ cause and the daily violations they suffer inside Israeli prisons, which violate all international and humanitarian covenants.
Across Israeli prisons, Palestinian prisoners suffer numerous and endless violations, as Israeli occupation authorities purposefully and persistently neglect their obligations under the international humanitarian law (IHL). Certainly, these practices fall under a systematic Israeli policy to humiliate and degrade the dignity of prisoners through arbitrary measures.
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrest policy falls under their racist practices against the Palestinian people. While the Western World stands united in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, defends the Ukrainian people’s right to resist the Russian occupation, supplies them with arms, and brags about supporting them, the world still denies the Palestinian people’s right to resist the Israeli military occupation ongoing since 1967, certainly reflecting the international community’s double standards when applying the international law.
There is a total of 4600 prisoners, including 34 women, 160 children, 500 administrative detainees, and 600 patients, detained in the Israeli jails in cruel and inhuman conditions. The Israeli practices and violations against prisoners have enhanced and intensified the suffering of Palestinian prisoners for several decades, most prominently the:
- Inhuman and cruel detention conditions;
- Psychological and physical torture, and solitary confinement;
- Administrative detention;
- Unjust military orders and decisions;
- Ban on visits from medical professionals; and
- Ban on visits from international organizations and investigation committees.
On the commemoration of this day, it is worth noting that in March 2022, the Israeli authorities allowed (37) members of Palestinian families to visit their sons in the Israeli jails after they were deprived of visitation rights for more than 3 consecutive years. This constitutes a violation of detainees’ right to receive family visits, which is guaranteed by the international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention; as Article (116) of Chapter VIII stipulates: “Every internee shall be allowed to receive visitors, especially near relatives, at regular intervals and as frequently as possible.”
This year, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Day is commemorated in extremely bitter and cruel conditions under the coronavirus pandemic. The Israeli occupation authorities did not suffice with their daily violations of prisoners’ rights, as it chose to intensify their suffering through its systematic policy of medical neglect against prisoners, abusing their pressing needs and right to health care in these dangerous times.
On the Palestinian Prisoner’s Day and every day, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reiterates the need to stand for the systematic and inhumane Israeli practices against Palestinian prisoners, and:
- Calls upon the international community to intervene urgently in fulfillment of its legal and moral obligations towards Palestinians, and take effective measures to pressure Israel to comply with its obligations towards Palestinian prisoners according to the rules of international law, including the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners in addition to the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions.
- Calls for finding appropriate mechanisms to pressure Israel and force it to improve prisoners’ living conditions.
- Calls for allowing the medical staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Palestinian prisoners and monitor their health conditions to ensure that they enjoy their right to health care and medical treatment; and
- Reiterates its call for the immediate release of all prisoners, especially minors, patients, elderlies, and women.