Home Archive 03/May/2017 09:02 PM

Israel Prison Service compelled to allow hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners to meet with lawyers

HAIFA, May 3, 2017 (WAFA) - The Israel Prison Service (IPS) on Wednesday was compelled to halt its practice of preventing Palestinian prisoners who are participating in a hunger strike from meeting with their lawyers, according to a press release.

The move came in response to an Israeli Supreme Court petition against the practice filed by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs.

Some 1,500 out of 6500 Palestinians held by Israel and classified as "security prisoners" began on April 17 a hunger strike to protest the conditions of their detention in Israeli prisons and to demand improvements.

At the start of the hearing, Supreme Court Justices Hanan Melcer, Uri Shoham, and Noam Solberg questioned why the IPS allows Palestinian prisoners who are not hunger striking to meet with their lawyers while denying that same right to Palestinian prisoners who are participating in the strike.

Following the justices’ remarks, the IPS was compelled to allow Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike to meet with their lawyers.

The petitioners and IPS specified that “there is no disagreement over the rights of prisoners – including prisoners participating in a hunger strike – to meet with their lawyers for professional purposes only.”

Adalah Attorney Muna Haddad said after the hearing that “it is regretful that lawyers need to turn to the court in order to implement their undisputed constitutional right to visit prisoners who have been on hunger strike for 16 days. The IPS added insult to injury: The Palestinian prisoners embarked on their strike to protest the humiliating and inhumane conditions in which they are being held and, in response, the IPS took punitive measures that violated the prisoners’ rights even further.”

M.K.

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