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525 Palestinians serving life sentences

February 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm

A Palestinian rights centre has revealed that hundreds of Palestinians are serving life sentences in Israeli jails.

The Al-Ahrar Centre for Prisoners’ Studies and Human Rights said in a press statement issued on Monday that 525 Palestinians distributed across Israeli prisons are currently serving lifetime jail terms.

It noted that Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails for life need a national plan from the Palestinian leadership and factions so that their release will be secured, putting an end to their mental suffering.

Al-Ahrar has described life sentences in the occupation’s prisons as especially harsh: “This means that the prisoners will spend the rest of their lives inside the occupation’s prisons, with no hope of release, which is harsher than a death sentence.”

“The Israeli occupation is the only entity in the world that does not limit life sentences to a specific period. Under Israeli law number 99, it’s an open-ended jail term,” the centre stated.

The occupation has not only refrained from limiting life sentences to a specific period, but it has also issued multiple life sentences against many prisoners, the centre added. For example, Abdallah Barghouthi received 67 life sentences, Hassan Salama received 47 life sentences, and Abbas El Sayed received 36 life sentences.

Al-Ahrar noted that the objective behind such sentences is “to frustrate prisoners and let them know that there is no way that they will be released.”

The centre also urged Palestinian leaders not to leave Palestinian prisoners serving life sentences at the mercy of fluctuating political negotiations, adding that a national plan must be put in place by Palestinian factions, including the factions to which such prisoners belong.