Fuad Khuffash, director of the Ahrar Centre for Prisoners Studies, said that the Palestinian prisoners’ movement has given the occupation prison services a deadline of Tuesday evening, January 14, for the release of Ibrahim Hamed from isolation. If Hamed is not removed from isolation, the prisoners will begin taking steps of escalating protest.
Khuffash said that there is great anger among prisoners about the isolation of Hamed, which was done on Thursday, January 9.
Riad al-Ashqar of the Palestine Centre for Prisoners Studies said that the prison authorities are transferring prisoners to solitary confinement in attempt to re-impose the policy of isolation which had been followed prior to the agreement ending the Karameh mass hunger strike in the prisons, which took place from April-May 2012.
Ashqar pointed out that dozens of prisoners had been held for lengthy periods of time in solitary confinement, a form of psychological torture. The end of the tragedy of isolation was a huge success of the prisoners’ strike. He said that the occupation has been trying for several months to gradually re-impose this policy through the transfer of prisoners to isolation cells for various periods of time.
Ibrahim Hamed, on Thursday, is the latest Palestinian political prisoner subject to this policy. However, he is not the first to be transferred to isolation. Nahar al-Saadi of Jenin has been isolated in Ramon prison for over 8 months. Saadi has been detained for 11 years and is sentenced to 4 life sentences plus 20 years. He is suffering from several diseases, including gallstones, kidney disease, and stomach ulcers.
Several Palestinian political prisoners have been transferred to isolation for periods of time under the pretext that they pose a danger to prison security or as punishment for an alleged violation of management decisions, or for a protest against repressive polices. Basem al-Khandakji, Fathi al-Khatib, Sameh Shobaki, Murad Nimer and Mohammed Mardawi have all been subject to this practice.
Ashqar called for human rights organizations to act and demand that the occupation cease this policy of solitary confinement of Palestinian political prisoners and prisoners of war, which is a form of torture. He stated that the prisoners will reject this policy and protest, because the prisoners cannot and will not accept the return of this policy.