Sentence extended for Palestinian prisoner from Gaza subject to torture

The Israeli Supreme Court increased the prison sentence of Palestinian prisoner Jihad Khaled Abu Hadaid, 28, from Gaza reported Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, on 7 February 2017. The sentence was increased from six years to eight years, reflecting the appeal filed by the prosecution against Abu Hadaid’s sentence in early 2016. Al-Mezan urged international action, highlighting that the case was based on the torture of Abu Hadaid.

Abu Hadaid was seized by invading Israeli occupation forces on 25 July 2014, during the Israeli assault on Gaza, during their ground invasion in Al-Fukhari, Khan Younis. Al-Mezan noted that he was subjeted to torture and was beaten, held under direct sunlight, held in stressed positions and cuffed from behind and held in solitary confinement. He was denied access to a lawyer for three weeks, and was told that his home would be attacked; indeed, hs home was later bombed by the Israeli air force.

Al-Mexan asserted “that the level of coercion used against Abu Hadaid results in a forced confession, which must not be used as evidence in court. A confession obtained under means of torture, including enhanced interrogation techniques, or other forms of duress is considered a forced confession under international law.”

The increased sentence came soon after another addition of eight years to the sentence of Palestinian prisoner Ahmed al-Mughrabi, 43, a Palestinian refugee from Dheisheh camp, accused of “incitement” and posing a threat to the security of the area from inside Israeli prisons. In January 2016, Israeli occupation forces stormed his home and seized his wife, Hanadi Musa al-Mughrabi, 37, ransacking the home and confiscating belongings and electronics and interrogating her about allegations of her husband’s communications from prison. She was released after one and one-half months in detention, while he was ordered to an additional eight years in prison; he is already serving 18 life sentences and has been imprisoned since 27 May 2002. He was held in solitary confinement for eight years and was returned to the general population in 2012 after the Karameh collective hunger strike that demanded the release from isolation of 19 prominent Palestinian prisoners.