Palestine News Network interviewed Fares Abu Hasan, head of the Solidarity International For Human Rights, who revealed that Palestinian detainees in Israeli Prisons are subjected to continuous violations.
Interviewed by, Amin Abu Warda, Palestine News Network
Abu Hasan stressed on the necessity of highlighting the administrative detention issue, and on the importance of a full cooperation between the organizations that deals with the detainees and their cases.
– How would you describe the current period the detainees are living?
Throughout the years, Palestinian detainees managed to transform prisons and cells into a sort of schools and universities that graduate residents who are determined to achieve the rights of their people.
The detainees are freedom fighters; the occupation could not convince the world otherwise.
Israel continuously attempts to present the detainees as criminals, but they are determined to hold on their right to resist the occupation.
Resistance against the occupation is a guaranteed right for every oppressed nation, and is a guaranteed right under the international law. Yet, Israel is trying to convince the world that those detainees are terrorists. This requires all of us to focus more attention on the detainees, their rights, and suffering.
Their participation in the political process in all levels should also be guaranteed.
– Do you think that the detainees are receiving the need public and formal attention?
Some people might claim that political parties and powers got busy in elections, either municipal or legislative, and other main issues, but what is going on now is considered a real implementation of democracy through elections polls.
The elections will help us to highlight the issue of the detainees as a top priority of the Palestinian Authority.
Elections also are considered a respect for the residents, their rights and will, by allowing them to vote and choose their leadership.
Also, the presence of some detainees as candidates, even if it is symbolic, is a positive way to highlight their case and present it to the world.
– What is needed to be conducted to highlight the detainees issue in a better way?
This issue needs cooperation between all organizations and facilities dealing with the detainees, we need to develop the ways and efforts to aid them and present their case.
The people should also conduct programs and activities which involves international organization to raise the awareness on the detainees’ case.
– You visited several detention facilities, what conditions are the detainees facing?
During our visits to the detainees in several detention facilities, and during their trials, we found out that they are subjected to continuous humiliations which aim at defeating their spirits.
These violations include isolating them, collective punishment, naked searches, confiscating their belongings and their money, in addition to barring them from their visitation rights and repeated attacks against them.
– What sorts of sentences are currently issued against the detainees?
After the outbreak of Al Aqsa Intifada in 2000, we noticed that the Israeli courts started passing high terms against the detainees, and continued to do so until the current time, in spite of the relative calm.
– Do you have ant actual number of the detainees currently in detention facilities?
There are at least 7812 detainees in several Israeli detention facilities and prisons;
Negev detention camp, 2152 detainees.
Ad Damoun: 340.
Hasharon: 113 female detainees.
Telmond: 199 female detainees.
Be’er Shiva: 460.
Megiddo : 780.
Salem, Huwwara, Qadumim and Atzion: 100.
– How can we expose the Israeli administrative detention policy?
Administrative detention policy was not intensively covered by the media, and that specialized organizations and institutions.
Administrative detention is an illegal procedure which involves placing the detainees under detention orders without any legal representation, and Israeli prison authorities keep renewing these orders against dozens of detainees without even informing them of the charges against them.
It is intended to defeat the spirit and will of the detainees, and we need to expose these illegal procedures and military orders locally and internationally, even if we have to submit this case to the International High Court of Justice, such as the case which was submitted against the Separation Wall.
There are several detainees who spent years in detention without trial, some are still imprisoned; detainee Raed Qawadri was arrested five years ago, no charges were filed against him, no trial, yet he is still imprisoned under administrative detention orders.
Also detainee Waleed Khaled was arrested four years ago and is still imprisoned under administrative detention orders, without trial or charges, in addition to several others detainees who are facing the same illegal procedures.