New research claims that 197 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons since the start of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967. Human rights researcher Abdel Nasser Farwana claims that the figure includes women, children and the elderly. A former prisoner himself, Farwana said that his figures do not include those who died post-release due to the devastating effects of their detention. He numbers those cases in the “hundreds”.
Farwana calls upon governments and human rights organizations to document the violations and crimes that were committed against these prisoners – these “martyrs” which were the key reasons for the deaths in custody and after release. “The authorities and monitoring bodies need to take concrete steps and bring to justice the criminals responsible for these deaths,” said Mr. Farwana, who was particularly critical of the relevant Palestinian authorities whose knee-jerk reaction to deaths in Israeli custody rarely goes any further.
According to Farwana, 70 prisoners were martyred after being subjected to torture by the Israelis, 49 died as a result of medical negligence, 71 ex-prisoners were executed after their detention, and 7 prisoners died as a result of excessive force against them and from gunshot wounds.