Rights group criticises ‘cruel treatment’ of Palestinian prisoners in Israel

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The OIC-Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) has released an official statement condemning the retaliatory punitive reaction over the recent prison break incident in a high-security facility north of the country.

The IPHRC claimed Israeli prison officials are subjecting Palestinian prisoners to retaliatory solitary confinement, collective harassment, violence, and torture under the garb of security overhaul.

“Also, the security forces have launched a door-to-door search operation targeting innocent Palestinian civilians, particularly close family members of the prisoners at large. These reprisal measures are grossly disproportional and lack any legal basis, hence, violative of international human rights and humanitarian laws,” the rights group said in its statement.

The recent incident has again brought to attention the festering issue of gross human rights violations committed by Israeli authorities against Palestinian prisoners, according to  the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – established body.

“Israel has incarcerated thousands of innocent Palestinians, including women and children, on flimsy charges of ‘security offenses’, subjecting them to extended arbitrary administrative detentions for multiple years without any recourse to justice outrightly denying the right to free trial,” IPHRC said.

The Israeli rights group Public Committee Against Torture has reported that about 1,300 complaints of torture were filed with Israel’s Justice Ministry between 2001 and 2020, which resulted in one criminal investigation and zero prosecutions, reflecting absolute impunity and lack of justice, the group added.

“Israeli security forces also routinely use disproportionate force against women and children during arrests, which often take place in the middle of the night, and physically abuse them in custody,” the IPHRC statement claimed.

The rights group emphasised that Israel has numerous obligations under international human rights and humanitarian laws, including the assurance that Palestinian prisoners were given due process in pre-trial detention and the right to a fair trial.

“To this end, the Commission stressed that priority must be given to measures to protect the lives and wellbeing of prisoners, including the provisions of health care, the right to a fair trial, and allowing regular family visits,” IPHRC said in its statement. (Source: Arab News)

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