2400 detainees in the Negev on Hunger Strike

August 17, 2006 12:47 AM IMEMC & Agencies News Report, Palestine, Prisoners 0

Protesting naked body searches practiced by the prison authorities at the Israeli Negev detention camp against the relatives of the detainees, at least 2400 detainees announced hunger Strike on Tuesday morning.

Palestinian Detainees Media Center reported that the detainees in twenty sections at the Negev desert detention camp returned all meals since Tuesday at noon in protest to the hostilities practiced against them and against their parents.

The Center added that soldiers are attempting to force wives, mothers or sisters of the detainees to undress completely in order to search them before they visit their detained family members.

The incident took place on Tuesday when soldiers tried to force mothers, sisters and wives of detainees from Qalqilia, Salfit and Bethlehem districts in the West bank, to remove all of their clothes under the pretext of searching them.

The detainees said that these violations came despite an agreement between their representatives and the prison administration to refrain from conducting these illegal practices against the detainees and their families.

It is worth mentioning that one young woman from Qalqilia refused to be strip searched and was deprived from visiting her detained brother.

Also residents William Hilal from Salfit, and Khaled Asakra from Bethlehem were subjected to strip search during visitation hours several days ago.

Soldiers also used police dogs during the searches which terrorized the families, especially the children.

Moreover, the detainees said that the strike also comes in response to recent decision to bar twenty detained imams from moving between the prison sections to conduct the Friday prayers.

For the first time since the Negev facility was reopened after the beginning of the current Intifada late 2000, the Israeli Prison Authorities barred the representatives of the detainees from moving between the facility’s branches. This decision could lead to further escalation in the detention camp.

The representatives are also prisoners who are selected by the detainees to represent them in front of the prison administration.
 
The detainees said that they might take further measures if the administration attempts to take away their achievements and rights they managed to obtained through several years of struggle.
 
There are at least 2400 detainees in the Negev, among them 500 detainees who have been there by repeated extensions of their detention orders without clear charges against them since the Israeli Authorities use a“secret files”, secret files means that the detainee or his lawyer cannot even know what charges are filed.

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