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Raed Salah held in solitary confinement by Israel, says lawyer

February 22, 2021 at 9:29 am

A group of Tunisians hold placards as they gather to stage a protest against Israeli court’s decision on sentencing Raed Salah to 28 months in prison, in front of the Municipal Theater in Tunis, Tunisia on 21 February 2020. [Yassine Gaidi – Anadolu Agency]

The head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, has been held in solitary confinement since he was jailed by Israel on 15 August last year, reported on Sunday. His lawyer Khalid Zabarqeh said that Sheikh Salah has been facing harsh treatment and difficult conditions in the Israeli prison in the Negev Desert.

The leading Palestinian human rights activist is serving a 17-month sentence in a small, isolated cell. He is allowed out for one hour a day.

Zabarqeh described solitary confinement as a form of torture for prisoners in Israeli jails. It is, he insisted, a violation of international human rights conventions and laws, which make it illegal to arrest people for their political views or religious affiliations. Torture is also illegal.

Sheikh Salah’s lawyers are allowed to meet him only once a month, while family visits have been stopped under the pretext of the pandemic. Moreover, the Israeli prison service prevents him from meeting other Palestinian political prisoners or speaking with them.

His lawyer accused Israel of putting pressure on Sheikh Salah to stop defending Al-Aqsa Mosque and give up his opposition to the violations committed by the military occupation. He stressed that the Sheikh is sticking to his principles and rights, and has not been affected by the Israeli oppression and pressure put on him. He passes his time reading, writing and drawing.

READ: Raed Salah awarded prestigious 2020 Al-Murabit Prize