The Ministry of Prisoner Affairs for the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has warned of an ‘explosion’ of the situation within Israeli prisons, given the systemic conduct of collective punishment of detainees exercised in most Israeli jails.
In a press release issued on Monday (26.07.2010), the ministry stated that the management of Israel’s Prison Service continues to enforce repressive policies against Palestinian detainees who have in turn responded by escalating their active objection.
The ministry’s lawyers explained that all detainees of the Ramon prison have recently begun a partial hunger strike in protest at the sudden campaign of carrying out night searches. 11 detainees of the Eshel prison have also taken the same step in objection to the collective punishment they are all subjected to; they are banned from receiving visitors for 6 months – a measure that was taken after the prison management found a cell phone on one of the detainees.
A detainee of the Israeli Shata prison has said that special army units carry out inspection campaigns that usually last for four consecutive hours, during which time prisoners’ personal effects are tampered with and some items are even confiscated – searches are carried out on the pretext of searching for cell phones.
In the Gilbo’a prison five detainees have been prevented from receiving visitors while electric fans have been confiscated and all inmates have been stopped from taking part in any sports for two months without reason.
The Ministry also mentioned that detainees in Ofer prison said that the prison’s management has installed distraction devices which make noises that continuously irritate prisoners and cause mental and physical disorders. According to the ministry, Ofer’s prisoners have demanded that Israeli authorities be pressured into removing these devices which are spread all over the prison.