Israel prison moves Palestinian to isolation cell adjacent to Dirar Abu Sisi

Maan News Agency | Sept 15, 2012

NABLUS (Ma’an) — A Palestinian citizen of Israel had been moved into solitary confinement in Israeli jail, a Nablus-based human rights group said Saturday.

Imad Rajeh Mustafa Sarhan, 34, was moved from Beersheva prison to an isolation cell in Ashkelon’s jail, the Solidarity for Human Rights group said. Prison authorities saying he was being moved due to psychological problems, researcher for the organization Ahmad al-Bitawi said.

Sarhan, from the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood of Haifa, is serving a 10-year sentence. He was jailed in January 2002 on charges of killing an Israeli soldier, injuring another, owning weapons, and association with Fatah.

Sarhan is the third Palestinian in solitary confinement, the group said. He has moved to the adjacent cell to Dirar Abu Sisi, who has been held in isolation since his detention last year.

The Gazan engineer disappeared in February 2011 while traveling on a train in the Ukraine and Israel later announced that it was holding him in Ashkelon jail. His lawyer says Israel has yet to file charges against him.

Another man from Gaza, Awad al-Saidi, is also in solitary confinement. He was given a six-month isolation order in April after he was accused of stabbing a prison guard in Nafha jail. Al-Saidi, from Nuseirat refugee camp, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2004.

As part of a deal with prisoners in May to end mass hunger strikes in jail, Israeli authorities pledged to move 19 prisoners held in long-term isolation for so-called security reasons, prisoners rights group Addameer says.

While all but Abu Sisi were moved from solitary confinement, Addameer warns that continued use of the practice shows “Israel’s use of isolation for punitive reasons as a policy remains unchanged.”


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