Amnesty International Urges Israel: End Administrative Detention of Palestinian Prisoners

New report criticizes Israel for placing Palestinian hunger strikers in solitary confinement and jailing non-violent Palestinian activists.

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Haaretz
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In a new report released on Wednesday, Amnesty International demanded Israel end the practice of holding Palestinians under administrative detention, calling on Israel to either release or properly charge Palestinians held in custody.

The report titled: "Starved for Justice: Palestinians Detained without Trial by Israel," list what the human rights organization considers a violation of Palestinians' rights to due process. At the end of April of this year, Israel had 38 Palestinians held in administrative detention, including 24 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

In addition, the report stated that the Israeli Prison Services punished Palestinian hunger strikers by placing the, in solitary confinement, claiming that holding the action was against prison regulations. Those prisoners who were weakened by the hunger strike were moved to the prison service medical facility, were according to the prisoners, they were mistreated.

Another grievance the report states, is the withholding of family visits to Palestinian prisoners from the Gaza Strip.

The report is also highly critical of the imprisonment of Palestinians, who according to Amnesty International, were solely involved in non-violent actions. These include Palestinian academic Ahmad Qatamesh, a left-wing commentator on Palestinian political and cultural affairs, who has been held in prison by the Israeli authorities since April 21, 2011.

Furthermore, the report is critical of the holding of 24 Palestinian legislators under administrative detention, highlighting the detention of 63-year-old Aziz Dweik, Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who was arrested in January of this year.

Amnesty International said it "opposes all systems of administrative detention because they are used by states throughout the world to circumvent the fair trial safeguards of criminal proceedings."

The organization also listed Sri Lanka, Egypt, China, and India as countries that also misuse administrative detention.

Previous hunger strikes by Palestinian prisoners sparked unrest and support rallies, such as this one in Nablus, May 2012.Credit: AP

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