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European Parliamentary Human Rights Committee holds session on juvenile Palestinian prisoners

January 31, 2014 at 12:49 am

In February, a European rights group held a special hearing on the issue of Palestinian minors imprisoned in Israeli jails. The session comes in the context of raising the profile of Palestinian prisoner rights in Europe.

The Oslo-based European network for defending Palestinian prisoner rights has said that a hearing will take place in the European Parliament in Brussels on March 15th concerned with the issue of Palestinian minors being held in Israeli prisons.

Mohamed Hamdan, the head of the European network, said that he valued “the concern of the European Parliamentary Human Rights Committee for the issue of the Palestinian prisoners and imprisoned Palestinian children.”

It is worth noting that the European network is one of the entities taking part in organizing a conference on the same cause at the United Nations premises in Geneva.

“The Israeli authorities have detained 7000 Palestinian children since the year 2000, and they were brought to court in Israel despite the fact that they hadn’t reached the legal age that allows for trial [as per the law],” Hamdan said in a press release made available to Quds Press.

Israel is holding 344 children in its prisons, most of who are held in a wing for minors at the Hasharon Prison. The Palestinian children are under the age of 18, as every person under the age of 18 is consider a child in Israeli law and in International Law, and also according to the definition of a minor in the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty, adopted by 45/113 of 14 December 1990.

Hamdan added that “Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli Occupation’s jails are subjected to the violation of their rights, [the rights] that are granted by international laws, documents and conventions.” Hamdan spoke of the torture, beating, and abuse of detained Palestinian juveniles.

He stressed that there is a chance for serious activism for this cause at the European level, especially that the first international conference of its kind on Palestinian prisoners will be held at the UN Geneva premises.