A call for help from prisoners in Negev

A call for help from prisoners in Negev

RAMALLAH, Palestinian prisoners said life is “unbearable” and “extremely difficult” in the Negev prison, calling for intervention from human rights organizations to end their suffering and protect them from the Israeli prisons authority’s (IPA) “arbitrary” practices.

The prisoners in Negev wrote in a letter addressed to human rights activist Abdel Nasser Farwana on Monday that human elements of life in the Negev prison are non-existent. The desert climate of extreme heat in the summer and cold in the winter has been a key cause of sickness, they said, highlighting that the IPA has prohibited the usage of fans, which prisoners have relied on to reduce the heat, especially after prisoners are “deliberately” kept out for long periods in the sun for daily counts.

They called on all human rights and media organizations and individuals to immediately intervene and assist them in their plea for basic rights and to expose their suffering to the world.

In the same context, Farwana said the unfavorable weather conditions have had adverse effects on the prisoners’ health and wellbeing. He noted cases of heatstroke, fatigue, and nosebleeds, and that some prisoners are experiencing heart conditions for the first time.

A third of Palestine’s prisoners reside in Negev prison. Nine prisoners have died in Negev since its establishment in 2006.

In related developments, Dr. Hamdan al-Sufi, 50, a professor of education at the Islamic University of Gaza, was released Monday from the Ashkelon prison after serving an eighteen-month sentence of what he called “harsh treatment”.

Sufi told the PIC that he was taken from a residential tower which was raided during an incursion on Tel Islam during the recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip. “When I was taken to the Ashkelon prison,” he said, “I was treated harshly like the rest of the prisoners.”

Meanwhile, the Asra center for prisoners’ studies said in a statement on Monday that an Israeli special forces unit raided on Sunday night section 3 of the of the Hadarim prison, which is home to most imprisoned Palestinian leaders.

Prisoners told the center for prisoners’ studies that the Dror unit raided a number of cells, destroying and confiscating private property, and conducting a thorough search on the section and all of the prisoners.

The center added that after the search, internees Raed al-Shafe’i, Ayman al-Faar, and Ahmed Shamarekha, and Ala al-Aswad were placed in solitary confinement.