Prisoner affairs ministry warns against prison internet hype

[ 19/06/2011 – 09:54 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)– The Gaza prisoner affairs ministry has called on local media not to reproduce Israeli media hype that Palestinian prisoners communicate with the outside world using social networking sites on the internet.

Israel tries to convince the world that the Palestinians enjoy all their rights while Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured in Gaza, is denied visits and access to family, the ministry’s media director Riyadh al-Ashqar said in a statement on Saturday.

Ashqar added that Israel also uses such rumors to justify the prison authority’s frequent violent raids on prisoners’ cells in search of mobile phones.

Ashqar expressed surprise that Palestinian news outlets would reproduce such reports despite the ulterior motives behind them.

The prisoner affairs ministry confirmed that prisoners from the Gaza Strip have been deprived of family visits for the past four years. They also are not permitted to contact them by phone and they are medically neglected and deprived of the right to education.

Separately, the Gaza minister of prisoner affairs Attallah Abu al-Sabah has held Israel and the Israeli Prison Service responsible for the life of eight year prisoner Mansour Yousef al-Shahatit.

Shahatit’s life is at risk as he suffers several physical and mental illnesses while he is being held in isolation, Abu Sabah said.

Serving a seventeen year bid, he was severely beaten during the interrogation process, causing a heart disorder. He also has a broken shin and suffers breathing difficulties.

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