Over 70 Palestinian prisoners moved as repression inside prisons escalates

negev-prisonOver 70 Palestinian political prisoners were moved between Eshel, Beer Sheva, Nafha and Ramon Prisons on November 30, reported the Palestinian Prisoners Studies Centre.

The purpose of these transfers is to create instability and uncertainty among the prisoners and to dispel protests and organizing among the prisoners confronting the policies of the prison administration. Prisoners reported in a telephone conversation with the centre that there are increasing restrictions being imposed upon the prisoners and that prisoners have been meeting to protest the administration, particularly to highlight the cases of the sick prisoners and administrative detainees held without charge or trial.

On November 19, sick prisoners in Nafha began boycotting the prison clinic and refusing medication in order to highlight the particular urgent needs of sick prisoners and protest medical neglect.

The political prisoners reported to the centre that this campaign of transfers is, in their eyes, designed to undermine planned protests and may be only the first step in a series of mass transfers to undermine organizing within the prisons. It should be noted that transfers take place via “Bosta” in which prisoners are transported shackled to iron chairs in poorly ventilated transport vehicles. The experience of the “Bosta” has been protested repeatedly by Palestinian political prisoners and many have been injured in rough and aggressive transfers.

Particular tension has developed in the Negev prison, reported the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, around the same two issues: administrative detainees held without charge or trial and medical neglect and health deterioration of sick prisoners. The same “Bosta” transport is used to move sick prisoners to hospitals or the Ramle prison clinic and takes several hours, increasing their suffering.

Murad Saad is one sick prisoner held in Negev; he has tumors in several parts of his body and was denied treatment through over two years of health complaints and continues to wait for any real treatment. Political prisoners held in the Negev have reported abusive and violent inspections and raids of cells under the pretext of searching for mobile phones as well as insect infestations inside the prisons.

In addition, the administration of the Israeli Hawara detention center forced a number of Palestinian prisoners, under the guard of the Israeli soldiers, to clean up the prison while their feet are shackled for three hours, the Palestine Information Center reported on November 30.