Israel passes law denying prisoners lawyer visits for one year after arrest

Israel passes law denying prisoners lawyer visits for one year after arrest

NAZARETH, Israel’s legislative commission approved Monday a new draft law that would deny Palestinian prisoners the right to lawyer visits for one year upon arrest in an attempt to tighten restrictions on those prisoners.

The amended law will afford power to Israeli courts to ban Palestinian prisoners from visits by their legal representatives for an entire year, while the present law allows this type of ban for three weeks only.

Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich brought a list of arguments to convince the Knesset’s legislative committee to favor the law before it was approved. The draft has taken effect from the time it was passed.

More than 6,700 Palestinians are currently jailed by Israel, some of them serving more than a quarter century without break.

Gaza’s ministry of prisoner affairs condemned the law as a “racist decision without any legal justification.”

The ministry’s spokesman Riyadh Al Ashqar expressed his concerns that the move would allow for a rise in prisoner abuse, saying lawyers would not be able to detect and thus report signs of abuse on prisoners after one year of detention.

Lawyers would also find difficulty in investigating and building a strong case for defendants and identifying the charges placed against them with such a long interval at hand. That would in turn grant time to intelligence to add charges to confessions.