Thousands of Palestinians suffer the ramifications of different Israeli mechanisms of suppression, torture and intimidation. Far from the siege on Gaza, confiscating and stealing land in the West bank, apartheid system practices in ‘Israel‘; Palestinians still suffer in various ways. Israeli jails are one of the ways where Palestinians suffer. The Jails represent the stronghold of torture, human rights violations, illegal practices and health care negligence.
On 16th of December 1979, Samir Al Isawi was born in Isawiya town in occupied Jerusalem. He grew up like all Palestinian children where their childhood was attached to resisting occupation and oppression rather than proper childhood times. Samir participated in the first Intifada peacefully like most of children in his age did. Later on (2004) he was arrested by Israeli forces and then sentenced to 30 years where he spent 10 years in the jail.
Manipulation and lack of Commitment
Samir was then released within Shalit Prisoner swap deal along with hundreds of other prisoners in November 2011. He accordingly, was “Okayed” and “amnestied” by Israeli president which abolished previous sentences.
Contrary to the conditions and rules of the swap deal, Israel re-arrested a number of the released Palestinian prisoners including Samir. Israeli authorities wanted those prisoners to continue their imprisonment sentences although this is against deal signed with Hamas through Egyptian mediation. This only indicates the Israeli manipulative polices where commitment is never there. Samir was re-arrested on July 2012, few months after he was released. Israel justifies his arrest as Samir visited the West Bank which according to the deal was restricted!
This is also a blatant violation of very basic human rights which is the right of movement.
Hunger Strike and family assault
Following his arrest, Samir started a hunger strike in protest of what Israelis have perpetrated against him. He is on hunger strike for more than 194 days which left him in a very dangerous health condition. According to UFree Network Samir’s health is rapidly and critically deteriorating and he has been admitted to the hospital twice on Sunday evening, 24th Nov. 2012.
Paradoxically, while Samir’s health is deteriorating no health care is provided but alternatively he is being tried at different Israeli courts of Ofar and Israeli Magistrate Court. Additionally, Samir was beaten by Israeli security as well as his mother and sister Shereen at one of the court hearings.
Samir’s sister, Shereen narrated what happened in the Israeli court, “Whenever my brother Samir attempted to shake hands with my mother or even touch her, Israeli soldiers prevented him. As Samir tried a few times, the soldiers assaulted him and my family. It was very inhuman and barbaric.”
According to recent reports and statements by Fadi Ibaidat, the advocate of Palestinian prisoner ministry, Samir Al Isawi is nearing to death as his body is becoming weaker and skinnier where his weight has become 48 Kgs only. Ibaidat also added that Samir’s kidneys might stop functioning and he is already suffering great pain.
In press statements, Samir’s mother made an appeal to Human Rights organization to immediately saving her son who is facing death any moment. She expressed her concerns as there are no real efforts exerted by any party to save his life. The mother thanked all those activists and supporters who are raising awareness about the plight of her son and other Palestinian prisoners.
At this instance, UFree Network carried different steps to save the lives of Samir and other prisoners who are on a hunger strike. The organisation contacted the different Human Rights organization and protested the conditions of prisoners especially those on hunger strike. It further met with Egyptian ambassador to Palestine where it discussed the Egyptian mediation where Israel violated it when re-arrested released prisoners. The organisation also sent a letter to the Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi, asking him to intervene and oblige Israel to commit to the prisoner swap.
Intimidation and Torture, actions needed
It was highly reported that Israel is using different methods of torture and intimidation like those stated by Miftah organisation. The organisation documented many methods like severe beating, punching and kicking of detainees, handcuffing detainees for long periods of time in contorted positions to a small chair or to a pipe hanging from the ceiling and exposing them to loud music and screaming sounds. Other methods include, sleep deprivation, denial of food, water and use of toilet, threats of or actual acts of sexual abuse, solitary confinement, psychological threats and pressure to collaborate, placing dirty, heavy sacks on detainees’ heads and denial of medical treatment.
According to Human Rights NGOs, Israel has significantly violated the human rights of the Palestinian people within Israel with its legalised Apartheid system of discrimination, and in the occupied territories with its system of political oppression, economic exploitation, and inhumane law enforcement practices primarily in response to the Palestinian rebellion against the oppression and exploitation.
Giving the facts stated in this urgent report, UFree Network urges activists, politicians, parliamentarians, Journalists and Human Rights organisation to act immediately and save the life of Samir as well as other hunger strikers. UFree Network asserts that the issue of prisoner is a highly crucial issue where human rights are violated. Thus, the organisation calls on the United Nations to hold a session either at the General Assembly or the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to put an end to the illegal Israeli practices. In the meantime, the network invites all members of the free world to sigh the petitions initiated for prisoners:
UFree Network | Media Centre
UFree Network is an independent European-wide human rights network; set up to defend the rights of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees.