#PalHunger | Detainee Mahmoud Issa In Solitary Confinement Since 10 Years

Friday May 04, 2012 05:31 by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies

Mahmoud Issa is a Palestinian political prisoner who has been in solitary confinement since 10 years, and is only allowed half-hour visit from his family; Israel claims he is a “security risk”, while back on February a judge denied Issa’s 75-year-old mother the right to visit him.

 

Mahmoud Issa, from Anata town north east of Jerusalem, has been imprisoned by Israel since 1993, and was sentenced by an Israeli military court to three life-terms, under the pretext that he participated in the abduction and the killing of an Israeli soldier identified as Nissim Toledano, and under the pretext of attempting to kill two Israeli soldiers.

A report by Israeli daily, Haaretz, revealed that the ruling was based on what the judge called “secret material” and information submitted by Israeli Internal Security (Shin Bet).

Issa’s family stated that he is being kept in solitary confinement for all these years as an act of punishment against him.

His sister stated that it is unbelievable that Israel considers her 75-year-old mother a security risk despite her sickness, old age and despite her semi-deafness.

She added that even when they are allowed to visit Issa, they do not have any body contact due to the fact that a glass barrier separates them during visitation, and they speak to him through internal phone monitored by the guards, Haaretz reported.

Israel claims it did not receive visitation requests from Issa’s mother or family, and that should a request be submitted, “It would look into it”. The claim was denied by Issa’s family who said they filed numerous requests.

Israel’s Shin Bet orders the prison service to renew his solitary confinement every six months, so he remains at all times in his small cell, denied his right to be among other political detainees.

Haaretz further reported that lawyer Abeer Baker told the District Court in Nazareth, back in November of last year, that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that extended periods of solitary confinement violate the American Convention on Human Rights.

But Judge David Cheshin ruled on November 30, that the prosecution granted him “enough material to keep the detainee in solitary confinement”, and claimed that “preventing family visitations and phone calls is not meant to be a punishment”.

An end to solitary confinement is one of the main reasons that pushed Palestinian political prisoners, held by Israel, to launch their open-ended hunger-strike. The detainees are also demanding visitations to be granted to Gaza Strip detainees, and to be granted their basic rights guaranteed by International Law.

Detainees Bilal Thiab and Thaer Halahla has been on hunger strike for 67 days; both were brought to court where Thursday where Arab member of Knesset Dr. Ahamd Tibi examined them, and found out that they are in serious health conditions and need immediate hospitalization.

On Wednesday, detainee Rateb Ad-Deek, also on hunger-strike, lost his hearing sense, and was vomiting blood after being given a wrong medication, the Palestinian Prisoners Society reported.



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