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Report: Israel systematically abuses jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti

May 20, 2024 at 11:16 am

Protesters wave flags bearing a portrait of prominent jailed Palestinian Marwan Barghouti during a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah on April 17, 2017 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]

Jailed Palestinian leader, Marwan Barghouti, has been subjected to violations and torture, and spends days in a narrow, dark cell in solitary confinement, without any means to treat wounds he sustained as a result of being dragged with his hands tied behind his back, the Guardian revealed on Saturday.

The newspaper pointed out that books, newspapers and a tele­vision that he used to be able to access have been confiscated since October.

“The lights that flicker in his cell each evening are intended to make sleep near impossible,” it said.

His lawyer Igal Dotan, who visited Barghouti in Israel’s Megiddo Prison two months ago, told the paper that “mentally he’s a very strong person, but physically his condition is deteriorating, you can see it. He’s struggling to see out of his right eye, as a result of one of the assaults.”

Read: Why does Mahmoud Abbas want Marwan Barghouti to stay behind bars?

“He has lost weight – he doesn’t look good. You wouldn’t recognise him if you compare his current appearance with the famous photos of him,” he said.

Barghouti told his lawyers that in March he was dragged to an area of the prison without security cameras and assaulted. He recalled bleeding from the nose as he was dragged across the floor by his handcuffs, before he was beaten unconscious.

Dotan counted bruises in at least three places on Barghouti’s body when he visited weeks later, adding that he probably has a dislocated shoulder from the assault and is in constant pain, but prison officials have refused a full medical examination of his injuries.

Since October, he has been transferred to three different detention facilities, and held in solitary confinement in each.

In Ayalon Prison “he was beaten on several occasions,” said Dotan, including an incident where guards swore at him while Barghouti was “dragged on the floor naked in front of other prisoners.”