Palestinian prisoners reiterated their rejection of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) decision to reduce adult men prisoners’ family visits from twice monthly to once monthly. The ICRC, which organizes the family visits due to the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation, including the application for special permits, has claimed that budget shortfalls are the reason for the cuts.
However, Palestinian prisoners across the political spectrum have denounced the cuts as deeply damaging to prisoners and their over 7,000 Palestinian families. Further, they have noted that the ICRC, by carrying out these cuts, is complicit in an ongoing Israeli agenda of cutting back on family visits and isolating prisoners from the broader Palestinian public.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society issued a statement that “The prisoners’ national movement rejects the ICRC’s decisions and considers it an attack on the rights and achievements of the Palestinian prisoners, for which they have paid a heavy price in struggle against the occupation. The effect of this decision fits perfectly with the occupation policy aimed at restricting the prisoners and their families by increasing burdensome requirements and complications on visit permits, which raises many questions about the motivation of this action.”
The prisoners demanded that the ICRC overturn the decision and instead work to improve family visits in quantity and quality.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network will protest on Friday, 17 June in New York City outside the ICRC’s offices at 801 2nd Avenue in Manhattan, at 4:00 pm, against the restrictions on family visits and demanding the restoration of twice-monthly family visits.
To help support the campaign to restore family visits, please sign on to the petition to the ICRC: https://www.change.org/p/international-committee-of-the-red-cross-stop-the-cut-in-family-visits-to-palestinian-prisoners