APRIL 17: PALESTINIAN PRISONER’S DAY

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RAMALLAH (DNA) -The Palestinian people and freedom advocates around the world celebrate the “Palestinian Prisoner’s Day”, which is April 17 of each year, after it was approved by Palestine National Council (PNC) in 1974 in fulfilment of the prisoners’ struggle and sacrifices, in support of their right to freedom, and ensuring a decent standard of life for them and their families.

Since that date, the “Palestinian Prisoner Day” has been a national occasion to remember the prisoners’ issue, highlight their social and human suffering, and the grave violations they are subjected to inside the prisons of the Israeli occupation.

PNC indicated that since 1967, the Israeli occupation has arrested about one million Palestinians, which is the highest in the world, and about 4,500 Palestinians are still being held in its prisons, including (140) children, (41) girls and women, and more than (700) Prisoners suffer from various diseases, including (440) administrative detainees without charge or trial, divided over about (22) prisons and detention centers.

The prisoners are subjected to grave violations, most notably physical and psychological torture, solitary isolation, deliberate medical neglect and visits rejections, in violation of relevant international and humanitarian conventions and covenants, PNC clarified.

The spread of CORONA-19 pandemic caused the prisoners’ infections rose to (368), as a result of poor health care and protection measures, and a scarcity of protective tools, which led to the death of 4 prisoners inside the Israeli occupation prisons during the year 2020, PNC added.

The occupying power is targeting the legitimacy of the prisoners ‘struggle, in an attempt to mark their just struggle as “terrorism”. PNC continued, Israel targeted the Palestinian families’ funds that guarantee them the minimum living requirements.                           

The states parties contracting to Geneva Conventions in 1949 must bear their responsibilities and pressure the occupation to release prisoners, especially the sick and the elderly, women, minors, and old prisoners, PNC said.

PNC called on the international community to intervene urgently and take measures to ensure that the Israeli occupation implements its obligations in accordance with the rules of international law and the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions, including the best practices for the treatment of prisoners.

PNC urged the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization to visit Israeli prisons, and closely examine the reality of the difficult health conditions of Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

PNC also called for unifying the efforts of Palestinian and Arab human rights organizations regarding documenting violations and crimes committed against prisoners, and employing international mechanisms by referring to international institutions and courts.

PNC concluded its statement by directing a proud salute to the souls of the martyrs of the captive national movement, to all male and female prisoners in the Israeli occupation prisons and their families, and to everyone who passed through those prisons from among the Palestinians, Arabs and free people of the world.