Date: April 18, 2022
Original language: Arabic
On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners Day
ICSPR calls on the international community to work hard to ensure ending the Israeli occupation’s violations against Palestinian detainees and liberate them.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) expresses its solidarity with the Palestinian and Arab detainees and prisoners and their families on the Palestinian Prisoners Day, which falls today -Sunday April 17- and is designated annually in order to highlight the increasing suffering of the detainees, resulting from the occupation’s practices and policies, which constitute gross, organized and systematic violations of the rules of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
The commemoration of Prisoners Day this year coincides with the continuation of the Israeli occupation’s policy of arbitrary arrests, by launching mass arrest campaigns, which recently have affected thousands of Palestinian citizens.
According to official statistics, the number of prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers has reached approximately (4,550) Palestinian and Arab prisoners and detainees, including (160) children and (33) women. Among the female prisoners there are (13) wounded such as Israa Jaabis, (8) sick, two administrative detainees, namely: Bushra Al-Taweel and Shurooq Al-Badan, and there are also (10) mothers. Of the prisoners in general, (580) of them are sick, including (130) chronic cases such as cancer, diabetes and total or partial disability, and nearly 500 administrative detainees.
In addition to the grave violations committed by the Israeli prison administration against the prisoners and detainees, which are the practice of torture, isolation, and denial of medical car -led to the death of 227 of them- the illegal detention and trial of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in secret prisons, the practice of the illegal administrative detention, depriving Palestinian prisoners and detainees of fair trial guarantees, forced transfers, and deportations, in addition to storming detention centers and prisons, which includes repression, abuse, searches, provocative measures, insults and profanity, and deliberately sabotaging prisoners’ sections.
In addition, the Israeli Knesset has enacted a set of racist laws that involve punitive measures against prisoners and detainees, which constitute a clear violation of the rules of international humanitarian law and relevant human rights rules related to the treatment of prisoners.
ICSPR affirms that the forces of the Israeli occupation state, represented by the Prison Administration Department, deliberately follow these coercive policies against Palestinian detainees with the aim of undermining their dignity, as these policies are considered grave violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and confirm that the occupation state deals with detainees in a racist, immoral and illegal manner that contradicts the international legal rules that protect detainees in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, the First Additional Protocol of 1977 annexed to the four Geneva Conventions, and a set of others international conventions.
ICSPR condemns the declared Israeli policies and the physical violations against Palestinian prisoners and detainees, and expresses its solidarity with the Palestinian and Arab detainees in Israeli prisons and with their families who share their suffering. Accordingly:
• ICSPR calls on the international community to work hard to pressure the Israeli occupation forces to stop the arbitrary arrest campaigns, stop the violations against the prisoners and detainees, end their suffering and release them.
• ICSPR calls on the contracting parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to carry out their legal duties by pressuring the occupation state to ensure that it respects its legal obligations under international law and international humanitarian law, in a manner that guarantees protection for Palestinian civilian detainees in Israeli prisons and detention centers, and to provide their basic needs of food, housing and medical care in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and to ensure ending the policy of undermining the dignity of detainees and violating their rights.
• ICSPR calls on the international community, with all its human rights and humanitarian institutions, to assume their moral, legal and humanitarian responsibilities towards the detainees held in the Israeli occupation’s prisons and detention centers, and calls on them to urgently send their delegates to take a closer look at the extent of the crimes they are exposed to.
• ICSPR calls for working to adopt and build a new national political, diplomatic, media, legal and popular strategy based on the internationalization of the prisoners’ cause, in a way that restores consideration to the rules of international law relating to prisoners, and enhances all forms of popular, diplomatic, legal and media work to support the struggle and rights of prisoners in the occupation prisons.
• ICSPR calls for activating the Palestinian movement and referring the file of prisoners’ violations directly to the International Criminal Court under Article 14 of the Rome Charter establishing the International Criminal Court, in a way that contributes to strengthening the process of accountability and criminal prosecution of the Israelis for their crimes and violations related to prisoners and detainees, specifically those related to administrative arrest and arbitrary detention, torture, denial of fair trial guarantees, and failure to provide health care or other rights that are criminalized under the Geneva Conventions and the Charter of the International Criminal Court.
• ICSPR stresses the importance of working to mobilize domestic and international public opinion to confront Israeli practices and crimes against Palestinian prisoners and detainees, exposing racist laws and violations, activating BDS, and boycotting companies that supply the occupation‘s Prison Administration with the means and tools of repression.