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Palestinians living in 'Abu-Ghraib conditions' in Al-Naqab Prison

May 9, 2014 at 3:50 pm

The lives of detainees at Al-Naqab Prison, south Israel, are in danger two weeks after they began their hunger strike in protest of human rights abuses in jail, a letter prisoners sent to the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) said.

The prisoners said they had each “lost almost eight kilogrammes” since the beginning of the hunger strike on April 24.

“Al-Naqab Prison’s administration began a series of repressive measures in response to the hunger strike,” the prisoners explained.

“Electronic appliances such as televisions and radios were confiscated along with wrist watches and even clothes, leaving prisoners with nothing but the prison uniform on their backs”, a press release by AOHR UK explained.

“Empty water bottles were also taken to make it more difficult to get fluids. Prisoners are forced to stand up three times a day during roll call in spite of their weak health and lack of energy. Several prisoners lost consciousness on several occasions but refusal to comply with the order to remain standing resulted in prisoners being handcuffed and placed in solitary confinement,” the organisation explained.

According to the prisoners: “The most humiliating aspect of the abuse occurred when, on the third day of the strike, the prison’s director Ellen Bourda ordered that all prisoners be completely stripped, similar to what happened at Abu-Ghraib Prison in Iraq.”

Prisoners describe how they were handcuffed then dragged out of their cells. Every 20 prisoners were put in a cage, still handcuffed. Prisoners where then pulled out one by one and brought before several soldiers and prison administrators and ordered to take all their clothes off for inspection. Those who refused to strip were physically assaulted, the AOHR UK said.

“They would then march the prisoner, completely naked, and start taunting him about his various body parts. Israeli soldiers were shouting: ‘Where are all the Muslims? Where are the Arabs? Where’s the humanity which you claim supports you? None is as powerful as Israel. Arabs and Muslims are insects’,” the organisation claimed.

Prisoners concluded their letter by calling upon the free world and the international community to support them until all their demands for justice are met. “We are weary with hunger and many of us are delirious. Even water tastes bitter,” they wrote.