Joint monthly report of March 2018

on . Posted in news

 Joint monthly report of March 2018

 Introduction

The international law has established special rules for the protection of detainees, and provided a set of standards aim at regulating their conditions inside the detention centers which preserve their human dignity. Those standards are deemed to be legal obligations that should be fulfilled by the Israeli state. They include stopping the arbitrary detention, the provision of trials, not subjecting anyone to torture or other cruel, inhumane or degrading punishment or treatment.
The period from 1/3/2018 until 31/3/2018 witnessed the continuation of the occupation authorities' policy of arbitrary detention of Palestinians, and other policies that violate the rules of special protection of detainees, which are guaranteed in accordance with the rules of International Humanitarian Law and International Law of Human Rights.
Within the efforts of the joint institutions (Commission of Detainees Affairs, Addameer Association For Human Rights and Al-Mezan Center For Human Rights), continued since three years in issuing monthly reports on arbitrary arrests and violations against detainees, they hereby issue their monthly report of March/2018 to highlight the conditions of Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails.
The report consists of five main sections. The first section is related to statistics and numbers of detainees, while the second one focuses on torture and other cruel degrading treatment (with the detainees Omar Kiswani as a case in point). The third section deals with the policy of solitary confinement against detainees, and the fourth explains the violation of the right to life and physical safety. The final section provides legal solutions of the various events it has reviewed, in accordance with the rules of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The report concludes with a set of recommendations.

First: statistics on arrest cases


The Israeli occupation authorities have arrested (609) Palestinians during March 2018, including (95) minors and (13) females.
Documentation and monitoring by joint institutions showed that the occupation authorities have arrested (155) citizens from Jerusalem, (113) from Ramallah, (85) from Hebron, (33) from Jenin, (43) from Bethlehem, (48) from Nablus, (47) from Tulkarem, (28) from Qalqilia, (5) from Tubas, (7) from Salfit, (24) from Jericho and (19) from Gaza.
In the context of administrative detention, the occupation authorities issued (81) administrative detention orders, including (34) new orders. Thus, there are (6500) detainees in Israeli jails, including (62) females and (8) minor females, (350) children and (500) administrative detainees

Secondly:  Torture and cruel, inhumane treatment.


 The occupation authorities continued to commit various forms of torture and inhumane treatment against Palestinian detainees. This report monitors the case of the detainees Omar Kiswani as a case in point.
An Israeli force disguised in civil uniform stormed the campus of Birziet University on 7/3/2018 and arrested the 24-years-old student, Omar Kiswani, from Jerusalem and took him to Al-Maskoubia detention center.
According to his testimony in 1/4/2018, he stated that he was exposed to brutal beating all over his body. Torture was not limited to beating, but reached to interrogations in which they use physical and psychological pressure. Investigators practiced psychological pressure for many hours during his interrogation, such as summoning his mother and depriving him of sleeping. Moreover, he was physically tortured in many ways such as seating him on a small iron chair in order to force him to confess guilt. Therefore, Kiswani has announced entering an open hunger strike which lasted for 14 days in a protest against his conditions.
It is worth mentioning that the Israeli court in Ofer has issued a decision, the fourth since arresting Kiswani, to extend his detention for the fourth time respectively, to complete in interrogation.

Thirdly: the policy of solitary confinement against detainees


 Solitary confinement is the most brutal punishment practiced by the administration of Israeli prisons against Palestinian detainees, where the detainee is held for a long time in a narrow, ugly and dark cell, which causes serious health and psychological complications to the detainee.
Solitary confinement rooms:
  The length of the isolation room is (1.8m) with the width of (2.7m). it includes a toilet and there is no space for walking, nor for the detainee's belongings. The tragedy may increase if there are two detainees in the same isolation cell.
Isolation rooms have high humidity due to the small window which is close to the ceiling. The door has a small window of (8 cm) long and (8cm) wide, which causes the spread of diseases, especially respiratory diseases.
A case in point is the detainee Mousa Soufan from Tulkarem, who is sentenced to 33 years of imprisonment and has spent 15 years of them. He spent five years in solitary confinement, under the pretext of a confidential file and that he constitutes a threat to the security of Israel.
Although he suffers from a cancer in the neck which was treated on 24/12/2016 with a surgery, he was not given any medical treatment after the surgery. During the period of his isolation, he was deprived of family visits and contacting with the outside world.

Fourthly: violating the right to life and physical safety


The occupation authorities continued attacking Palestinians during their arrest. The excessive use of violence by Israeli soldiers caused serious injuries among Palestinian detainees, and caused the loss of life as what happened to the martyr Raed Al-Salhi (21 years old) from Bethlehem, who died when the Israeli forces stormed Al- Duhaisha camp to arrest him in 2017.
According to documented information over the past years, more than 60 detainees have been killed due to medical negligence in Israeli jails.
 On 7/3/2018, a special force of the Israeli occupation kidnapped the chairman of students' council at Birziet University, Omar Kiswani, after storming the campus, and arrested him with a backup from the Israeli soldiers. Kiswani said that he was exposed to brutal beating all over his body during his arrest and on his way to the detention center.
On the other hand, the Israeli army arrested Abdullah Nayef at 6:00 am on Monday, March 17, 2018 when he was going to buy some grocery. He got attacked by a soldier who shot him. The soldier dragged him and hit him before getting him inside the military jeep and transferring him to Itzion Camp.


Fifthly: legal solutions


The report presents legal protection and guarantees provided for detainees by the International Humanitarian Law and the International Law of Human Rights. The report also links between the Israeli violations and the international rules that prohibit these violations as follows:
1.    Arresting Palestinian people in an arbitrary way is a violation to the legal guarantees related to the prohibition of arbitrary detention, which is preserved by the International Law of Human Rights stipulated in article (9) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, and article (9) and (10\1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966.
2.    The policy of administrative detention practiced by occupation authorities constitutes a direct violation of fair trial guaranteed by the following legal rules:
a)    Violates article (11\1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1984, which stipulates that "everyone charged with a crime shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a public trial in which he has been provided with the necessary guarantees to defend himself".
b)    Uncovering the charge of the detained person in accordance with the order of administrative detention, prevents the possibility of verifying the compliance of the occupying state with the security reasons that allow such detention, in accordance with article (78) of the Fourth Geneva Convention in 1949 which stipulates that "if the occupying state considers for imperative reasons to take security measures against protected persons, it may at most arrest them or impose house detention".
c)    Not informing the detained person of the charge against him, as in the administrative detention, constitutes a violation of article (71) of the Fourth Geneva Convention in 1949, which obligates the occupation state to inform the detained person about his charge without any delay. Also it is contrary to principle (10) of the principles related to protecting all persons under any form of detention or imprisonment which requires the same.
3.    The practices against the detainee Omar Kiswani constitutes violation of the legal guarantees related to the right of not being subjected to torture, which are contained in article (7) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, and also contained in Anti-torture Covenant. Moreover, these practices contradict the United Nations Standard Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners of 1955, and also considered from the serious violations prohibited in accordance with article (147) of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
4.    The excessive using of the solitary confinement punishment leads to a brutal suffering to detainees. However, it is prohibited in accordance with rule (31) of the United Nations Standard Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners of 1955. It also contradicts the aforementioned legal guarantees of the Anti-torture Covenant and article (7) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.


Recommendations:


1.    Forming a fact-finding committee by the Human Rights Council on the Israeli violations against detainees.
2.    Activate measures of accountability by the international community, in fulfillment of its legal and ethical obligations.
3.    The contracting parties shall undertake their responsibilities and oblige Israel to respect the rules of international humanitarian law.
4.    Activate the role of contracting committees in monitoring the occupation state and urge them to respect the standards of detainees' rights.