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Israel: Harsh prison conditions in Israeli jails

last updated Aug 16, 2011

A report released by the Justice Ministry’s Public Defender’s Office reveals harsh conditions in Israeli prisons with overcrowding, inadequate access to medical care, poor hygienic conditions, and excessive punitive measures present in most facilities. Suicidal detainees are tied to their beds for hours as punishment instead of providing protection and treatment.

The Public Defender’s Office found striking cases of intolerable conditions of detentions. One man was cuffed to his bed 24 hours a day for almost six months. In several prisons, the living space for each prisoner barely exceeds two square metres.

The Israel Prison Service responded by claiming that it is necessary to hold some detainees in restraint in order to protect them or others from injury. It also stressed that collective punishment has not been imposed. The Israel Prison Service has launched a campaign in 2008 to improve conditions of detention by renovating prison wings or replacing uninhabitable ones with new facilities.

The condemning report comes shortly after the UN Special Committee to investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the territories occupied since 1967 criticised Israel for systematically violating human rights in the occupied territories. The report comprehends detailed information on poor conditions of detention, harsh interrogation methods and torture and ill-treatment.

Haaretz: Report reveals harsh condition in Israeli jails

AoT: Israel: UN Committee condemns „systematic human rights violations“

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