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Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jail plead for winter protection

February 10, 2014 at 10:23 am

The Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Negev Prison have appealed to international human rights organisations, including the International Red Cross, to improve their conditions as the winter storms add to their misery. One researcher into prisoners’ affairs has said that their conditions are now “unbearable”.

According to Riyad Ashkar, the prisoners are suffering from a shortage of blankets and have no winter clothing or heaters, and no hot water. “The rain leaks into our cells and wets our clothes and belongings,” they have told him. “The prison administration deliberately takes no action during such emergency situations to increase our suffering.”

Ashkar explained that as a result the prisoners are showing symptoms of arthritis, back pain, influenza, cold, sore throat and other illnesses. “Their health is deteriorating rapidly in these conditions,” he said. “The Israeli prison authorities do not provide proper medical care.”

The prisoners accuse the prison regime of forcing them to stand outside in freezing conditions for several hours at a time, often at night. They have appealed to the Red Cross to visit the Negev Prison and take immediate action to improve their conditions, especially during the winter.