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US political prisoner dies three days after being freed from 41 years of solitary confinement

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Herman Wallace was freed on Tuesday
Press TV – October 4, 2013

An American prisoner, who was released a few days ago after spending 41 years in solitary confinement, has died of liver cancer.

The 71-year-old Herman Wallace was freed on Tuesday after a US federal judge overturned his conviction for the murder of a prison guard, saying his 1974 trial had been “unconstitutional.”

His attorneys said he died at a supporter’s home in New Orleans.

“One of the final things that Herman said to us was, “I am free. I am free”,” they said.

Wallace, who was a former Black Panther and member of the “Angola 3,” and two other inmates were held in solitary confinement for years.

Wallace and Albert Woodfox, who was also convicted, have denied the killing, saying they were set up because they founded a chapter of the Black Panthers at Angola.

The inmates charged with killing the guard became known as the “Angola 3.” The third prisoner eventually became a prosecution witness.

Louisiana, where he was imprisoned, had refused to free Wallace on medical grounds over his terminal cancer.

Campaigner for Amnesty International Tessa Murphy criticized prison officials.

“The Louisiana prison authorities put this man through hell,” Murphy said. “There were longstanding concerns about the safety of his conviction and it’s some small consolation that Herman died a free man.”

October 4, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inmate in California hunger strike dies

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Press TV – July 28, 2013

One of the California inmates who have for weeks been on a hunger strike has died in solitary confinement, according to the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition.

Billy Sell died on Monday, July 22, at the Corcoran State Prison in central California.

Sell‘s fellow inmates say he had been requesting medical attention for days before his death.

Saturday marks the 20th day of the hunger strike which started in protest against solitary confinement practices in the state’s prisons.

“Advocates are outraged at Sell’s death, noting that it could have been prevented if (prison officials) had negotiated with strikers,” the coalition said in its statement.

Prison officials have launched an investigation into the death which they claim is a suicide.

“It’s irresponsible and inflammatory for hunger strike supporters to say this inmate, whose death is being investigated as a suicide, died as a result of the hunger strike,” said Deborah Hoffman, a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, in a statement.

Reports say more than 30,000 inmates have joined the hunger strike in California where there are some 132,000 prisoners.

Inmate advocates put the number of state prisoners confined in extreme isolation at nearly 12,000.

July 28, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tens of Thousands of California Inmates Join Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford | July 10, 2013

About 30,000 California prisoners have joined the hunger strike begun, on Monday, by inmates at the Secure Housing Units at Pelican Bay. That’s more than four times as many as joined Pelican Bay inmates in their first hunger strike, in July of 2011, and two and a half times the number that struck in October of that year. So far, two-thirds of the state’s prisons have been affected.

The Pelican Bay inmates carry a certain moral authority, in that they represent the most long-suffering, intensely persecuted group in the largest and most barbaric prison system in the world – the approximately 80,000 U.S. prison inmates held under solitary confinement. Pelican Bay is the site of more than 1,000 solitary confinement cells, where prisoners are isolated from other human contact for at least 22 and a half hours a day. Around the state, about 4,500 people are held in Special Housing Units, or SHUs, with 6,000 more enduring some other form of solitary. Some of the SHU inmates have not seen the natural light of day for more than 20 years.

The State calls the SHU inmates the “worst of the worst” in order to justify a punishment regime more barbaric, in many respects, than any in recorded history – a massive, multi-billion dollar enterprise whose mission is to destroy the minds of men and women. Inmates are locked away for years on end for possession of literature, or for mere suspicion of political militancy. By far the largest number of SHU inmates are accused of belonging to gangs, and can only be released from solitary by accusing other inmates of gang affiliation – a process that is euphemistically called “debriefing” – thus turning everyone into a potential snitch against everyone else.

Prison is the ultimate surveillance regime, a place where the sense of self, of human agency, and of privacy is systematically crushed, in the name of security. It is no coincidence that the world’s prison superpower, the United States, which accounts for one out of every four incarcerated persons on the planet, is also engaged in spying on every other nation and population on Earth. It is as if the United States is determined to surveil – with the implicit threat to crush – every expression of the human soul.

Both U.S. global surveillance and American prison policies violate international law. The Center for Constitutional Rights has sued on behalf of the Pelican Bay inmates, citing the finding by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture that any more than 15 days of solitary confinement violates international standards of human rights.

California’s inmates aren’t waiting for the UN or the courts to come to the rescue. They’ve issued five core demands, with elimination of long-term solitary confinement at the top, and insist that the hunger strike will not end until California signs a legally binding agreement. The very concept of negotiation with inmates is anathema to the Prison State, whose goal is to reduce human beings to objects, with no rights whatsoever. The Pelican Bay inmates have concluded that, if they are to have any chance to live, they must be prepared to die.

Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

July 10, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tens of Thousands of California Inmates Join Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers

‘Everybody in Guantanamo has been tortured or abused’ – former detainee

RT | July 6, 2013

“I was subjected to the sounds of a woman screaming, I was led to believe that my wife was being tortured,” Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee has shared with RT.

The former inmate has shed light on some of the torturous detention techniques at Guantanamo.  They include, being cavity searched and given directions on how to commit suicide.

Despite being physically and psychologically tortured by the guards in the US prison, Begg says prisoners find it in themselves to forgive the soldiers.

RT: What was your own stay like at the prison?

Moazzam Begg: Most of my time was spent in solitary confinement which meant being in a a cell that measured 6 foot by 8 foot which was windowless at that time, I did not have access to any meaningful communication with my family, I had no knowledge whether I was ever going to get charged or not, which I was not. At that time no lawyers were allowed. So for two and a half years there was no concept of facing any legal proceedings. But now the situation has changed a lot.

RT: During that time would you claim that you were tortured or abused?

MB: I say that everybody who’s been held in Guantanamo has been tortured or abused in one way. When I was first taken into custody, it was the most torturous process I think that any person can imagine. It meant being stripped naked, it meant your body being searched, cavity searched as they called it. Having your hair shaved off, being punched and kicked and being spat upon.  On one occasion it was in background facility before I went to Guantanamo, I was subjected to the sounds of a woman screaming, I was led to believe that my wife was being tortured.  So everybody in a sense is being tortured and the worst sort of torture is the psychological of course sort in which you are in solitary confinement torture unable to know what you have done for which you’re paying the ultimate price which is your freedom.

RT: One prisoner claims that he and others have been sexually assaulted during searches. Have you ever witnessed anything like that?

MB: Certainly, every prisoner will say that he has had invasive cavity searches.  Across the board 779 men if you were to ask them, did this happen to them, they would say yes it happened to us at various junctures of detention. The particular prisoner, his name is Younous Chekkouri , he is from Morocco, is saying precisely this, but of course it is a violation of his dignity. I believe that the term rape has been used in a broader sense, meaning that objects have been inserted into a person which are extremely painful and degrading too.

RT: We’ve heard an ex-military official say the prison’s a recruiting ground for al-Qaeda. Would you agree?

MB: It is bizarre, President Obama has recently visited Robben Island and he actually was in a cell where Nelson Mandela was. He actually wrote in the visitor’s book that nothing could break the strength of the human spirit, not even shackles or chains. But he forgot to add – unless you happened to be in our shackles and chains and in our cells.  Of course, this is the sort of thing that will make people angry. But if you look at over 600 prisoners that have been released from Guantanamo, almost everybody has returned not to begin a life of terrorism or recidivism, as they call it, but actually stretch out their hands toward former Guantanamo soldiers, guards and interrogators. I had former Guantanamo guards coming to my house and meet the children that they prevented me from seeing when they were born. This is the sort of nature of the Guantanamo prisoners, we are extremely forgiving.

RT: It seems that hunger strikers in Guantanamo are prepared to die. Did you think you’d die there?

MB: I think many times that the administration there suggested to us, I was just once told that I had a thought about committing a suicide and they told me how I could commit suicide if I felt so down. Clearly the prisoners have moved along since that point, but clearly prisoners have died, nine people have died in Guantanamo. If the hunger strikes continue in the way that they are, then force-feeding is not the solution. The solution is to give them justice and that is the reason why they are doing it. They are not doing it because of all the abuses, those are peripheral, they are doing it because they have been held for almost 12 years now without charge or trial in any legal, normative system.

July 6, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on ‘Everybody in Guantanamo has been tortured or abused’ – former detainee

End Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons, Prepare to Back Hunger Strikers

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford | May 8, 2013

Another prison hunger strike is looming in California, where more than 200 inmates at the Pelican Bay supermax have been in solitary confinement for between five and ten years and nearly 100 have been shut off from most human contact for 20 years or more. Across the nation, on any given day, more than 100,000 inmates suffer in solitary – about 25,000 in the federal system and another 80,000 or so in state facilities. That’s the equivalent of locking up every man, woman and child in Charleston, South Carolina, in their own little 8 by 12 foot box – for an eternity. Nothing like this American form of mass human torment has ever existed on the face of the earth: systematic, industrial strength torture, multiplied 100,000 times per day. Solitary confinement as a form of routine, mass punishment is beyond barbarity. Nowhere in human history do we find barbarians who tortured hundreds of thousands of people every day for decades at a time. Only in America.

Solitary confinement, by its very nature, is designed to ensure that no one but the torturers hears the cries of the tormented. However, knowledge of such monstrous evil compels decent men and women to action, in solidarity with those who have been wronged. The prisoners of Pelican Bay, who went on hunger strike in 2011, have sent word that they will do so again, on July 8, if the state of California does not meet their core demands. One demand is fundamental: that inmates not be confined to solitary unless they have been charged, “and found guilty of, committing a serious offense… a felony!” Instead, inmates are consigned to a life of oblivion based on anonymous allegations that they are affiliated with a gang, or for exhibiting the slightest hint of political thought – or for no discernable reason, at all. Not only is lengthy solitary confinement unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment, and a form of torture under international law, it is totally arbitrary and capricious.

In California, alone, more than 14,000 prisoners are held in isolation. The Pelican Bay inmates anticipate many of them will join the hunger strike, as thousands did in 2011, when 13 prisons were involved in the protest, and three inmates committed suicide. This time around, prison organizers have invited the participation of “all male and female prisoners across the U.S. prison systems,” both state and federal. Inmates in Georgia went on hunger strike in 2011 and again last year, pressing a range of demands.

If the California prisoners are forced to put their lives on the line again, on July 8, support networks need to be in place, beforehand. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is putting out the call, so that the inmates at Pelican Bay and throughout the vast U.S. prison gulag will know that folks on the outside have their back. June 21, 22 and 23 have been designated as Days of Solidarity With the Struggle to End Prison Torture, and to immediately disband the torture chambers. You can sign up by going to StopMassIncarceration.org.

Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

For more information, contact the Stop Mass Incarceration Network at: stopmassincarceration@gmail.com, or by calling (347) 979-SMIN (7646)

May 9, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on End Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons, Prepare to Back Hunger Strikers

U.S. is the Worst Police State in the World – By the Numbers

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford | August 29, 2012

When U.S. corporate media operatives use the term “police state,” they invariably mean some other country. Even the so-called “liberal” media, from Democracy Now to the MSNBC menagerie, cannot bring themselves to say “police state” and the “United States” without putting the qualifying words “like” or “becoming” in the middle. The U.S. is behaving “like” a police state, they say, or the U.S. is in danger of “becoming” a police state. But it is never a police state. Since these privileged speakers and writers are not themselves in prison – because what they write and say represents no actual danger to the state – they conclude that a U.S. police state does not, at this time, exist.

Considering the sheer size and social penetration of its police and imprisonment apparatus, the United States is not only a police state, but the biggest police state in the world, by far: the police state against whose dimensions all other police systems on Earth must be measured.

By now, even the most insulated, xenophobic American knows that the U.S. incarcerates more people than any country in the world. He might not know that 25 percent of prison inmates in the world are locked up in the U.S., or that African Americans comprise one out of every eight of the planet’s prisoners. But, he is probably aware that America is number one in the prisons business. He probably approves. God bless the police state.

For the American media, including lots of media that claim to be of the Left, it is axiomatic that China is a police state. And maybe, by some standards, it is. But, according to United Nations figures, China is 87th in the world in the proportion of its people who are imprisoned. China is a billion people bigger than the United States – more than four times the population – yet U.S. prisons house in excess of 600,000 more people than China does. The Chinese prison population is just 70 percent of the American Gulag. That’s quite interesting because, non-whites make up about 70 percent of U.S. prisons. That means, the Black, brown, yellow and red populations of U.S. prisons number roughly the same as all of China’s incarcerated persons. Let me emphasize that: The American People of Color Gulag is as large as the entire prison population of China, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people.

However, police states must be measured by conditions behind the bars, as well as raw numbers of inmates. And, by that standard, the American Gulag is even more monstrous.

Civilized people now recognize that solitary confinement is a form of torture. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, reports that solitary confinement beyond 15 days at a stretch crosses the line of torture, yet, as Al Jazeera recently reported, it is typical for hundred of thousands of U.S. prisoners to spend 30 or 60 days in solitary at a stretch. Twenty thousand are held in perpetual isolation in so-called supermax prisons – that is, they exist in a perpetual state of torture. Studies now show that, all told, 80,000 U.S. prisoners are locked up in solitary on any given day.That’s as many tortured people as the entire prison system of Germany, or of England, Scotland and Wales, combined.

If that is not a police state, then no such thing exists on planet Earth.

Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

August 29, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | 6 Comments

Israeli Government Fails to Carry Out Terms of Prisoner Agreement

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC News | June 28, 2012

Palestinian and international rights groups have condemned the Israeli government’s failure to live up to the agreement made one month ago in order to end the month-long hunger strike of over 2,000 Palestinian prisoners.

The promises made by the Israeli government in order to end the hunger strike included an end to solitary confinement, improved living conditions for prisoners, proper medical care and increased family visits. A month after the hunger strike was declared over, however, the Israeli authorities have yet to implement these agreed-upon terms.

The one item that Israeli authorities did carry out was the return of 91 bodies from the so-called ‘Numbers’ cemetery in Israel – a cemetery made up of Palestinians who died or were killed inside Israel. Although Israel has always denied the existence of this cemetery, mocking those Palestinians who insisted that it did exist, the release of the bodies constituted an admission by the Israeli government that the Numbers cemetery does exist. Those 91 bodies are not all of the Palestinians buried in the Numbers cemetery, but no one on the Palestinian side knows how many bodies remain, and Israel has refused to release any data.

Some prisoner rights groups are blaming the Palestinian Authority for giving in to easily during negotiations with the Israelis regarding the hunger striking prisoners, and for failing to pressure Israel to live up to its end of the bargain.

In fact, there is no mechanism by which the Palestinian Authority can force Israel to carry out its promises regarding prisoners, as Palestinians have no legal recourse to take the Israeli government to court.

One of the promises made by the Israeli government was hailed at the time as a success for prisoners, but prisoner rights groups including Addameer have cautioned that it does not constitute a real change in policy. That is the decision to not extend so-called ‘administrative detention’ orders under which Palestinians are held without charges. The caveat, however, is that Israel can extend those orders if there is ‘new information’ in the case. Since the charges and trial in these cases are held in secret, with no possibility of mounting a defense, this caveat makes the change in policy virtually meaningless.

One representative of Addameer, Mourad Jadallah, told reporters with the Ma’an news agency, “Israel also does not want Palestinians to feel they reached something with the hunger strike or let the prisoners movement feel like they reached their demands. They want to say: We can control everything.”

June 28, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Thousand Years of Solitude

By Joanne Mariner | Justia.com | June 4, 2012

Imagine spending a month alone in a windowless cell the size of a small bathroom.  Now multiply that by 100, and you can begin to understand the average period of solitary confinement endured by prisoners held in the Security House Unit at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison.

The SHU, as the unit is called, houses more than 1,000 men, most of them remaining in solitary confinement for years, even decades.

According to official prison statistics, more than 500 prisoners at the SHU (or about half the total population) have been held there for more than 10 years. What is more, 78 prisoners have been held at the SHU for more than 20 years.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, a non-profit public interest law firm, filed a class action complaint in federal court last week on behalf of ten named plaintiffs who are incarcerated in the SHU, calling the SHU’s solitary confinement regime “inhumane and debilitating.”  The plaintiffs, who had originally filed the case without legal assistance, have each been held in solitary confinement for between 11 and 22 years.

These numbers are stunning no matter how one looks at them. A recent European human rights court case condemned Russia for holding a prisoner in solitary confinement for three years, which, compared to the length of prisoners’ stays in the SHU, is a short stint. In the aggregate, prisoners held at the SHU spend thousands of years in their cells alone. It is a large-scale experiment in sensory deprivation and social isolation.

Communication as a Disciplinary Offense

The complaint paints a stark picture of daily life in the SHU.  Prisoners in the SHU “normally spend between 22 and one-half and 24 hours a day in their cells. They are typically allowed to leave their cells only for ‘exercise’ and to shower.”

The cells are made entirely of concrete and measure approximately 80 square feet.  They contain a concrete bed, a sink, and a toilet, as well as a concrete desk and stool.  Prisoners’ personal belongings are extremely limited.  The cell doors are made up of solid steel, not bars, and have small round perforations that allow a partial view into the hallway.

The only means prisoners have to communicate is to yell or speak loudly to their neighbors, which may be deemed to be a disciplinary offense.

“Exercise,” according to the complaint (which puts the word in quotes), takes place in “a barren, solid concrete exercise pen, known as the ‘dog run.’” Until last year, the exercise pen was empty.  Following an organized hunger strike by prisoners, the authorities added a handball to the pen.

Phone calls are not allowed, except in exceptional circumstances like a death in the family, and even then permission to make a call is granted at the prison authorities’ discretion.  The complaint describes how one of the plaintiffs, Gabriel Reyes, “was denied a telephone call home after his stepfather died, because he had been allowed a telephone call several months earlier when his biological father died.”

Family members are limited to non-contact visits, behind plexiglass, with communication taking place over a telephone handset.  The prison gets few visitors, as it is located far from most prisoners’ home cities, near the state’s northern border with Oregon, and visiting hours are extremely limited. As the complaint explains, many prisoners have “been without face-to-face contact with people other than prison staff for decades.”

Prisoners have no access to recreational or vocational programming.  Psychological counseling is minimal, despite the obvious mental health risks at issue. When one plaintiff requested mental health care, the complaint asserts, “he was referred to a ‘self-help’ library book.”

While most prisoners are held in solitary confinement, a few are double-celled.  The complaint suggests that the only thing nearly as bad as solitary confinement is being locked in close quarters with one other person, with no possibility of leaving the room. “[D]ouble-celling,” the complaint says, “requires two strangers to live around-the-clock in intolerably cramped conditions, in a cell barely large enough for a single human being to stand or sit.”

Indefinite Confinement

No judge ever sentences a prisoner to serve time at the Pelican Bay SHU.  Instead, it is the state prison bureaucracy that puts people there and keeps them there.  California has a serious problem of gang violence, both in the prisons and beyond, and segregation in the SHU, where prisoners’ ability to act and communicate is extremely limited, is viewed as an effective control mechanism.

Prisoners end up at the SHU via a process called prison gang validation, which often relies on information provided by confidential informants. Prisoners who are believed to be associated with a gang—even without any indication of gang activity, or even actual gang membership—are “validated” as gang affiliates.  They then can be placed in the SHU for an indefinite term.

The only real way to exit the SHU, short of being released from prison after serving one’s sentence(s), is to “debrief” to the prison authorities, i.e., to formally renounce any association with a gang and to report on other prisoners’ gang activity.  This is an obviously dangerous option, and many prisoners refuse to try it.

After six years in the SHU, there is supposed to be another way out, but the complaint alleges that it does not operate as it should.  Prisoners receive a six-year review to evaluate whether they are “active” with a gang or have gained “inactive” status.  But, the complaint states, the review lacks seriousness, with the prison authorities pointing to reading material, artwork, and minor disciplinary offenses such as talking to other prisoners as grounds for denying inactive status.

The empty promise of the six-year review is especially damaging for prisoners who are eligible for parole.  One such prisoner is George Ruiz, is a 69-year-old Latino man who has spent the last 28 years of his life in solitary confinement, 22 of those years at the SHU. Ruiz has been eligible for parole since 1993, but the parole board has reportedly told him that he will never obtain parole as long as he is held at the SHU.

A recent UN report, issued by the UN special rapporteur on torture, criticized this sort of indeterminate segregation.  It explained that “[t]he feeling of uncertainty when not informed of the length of solitary confinement exacerbates the pain and suffering of the individuals who are subjected to it.”  “Indefinite solitary confinement,” the report concluded, “should be abolished.”

The Outer Bounds of Psychological Tolerance

Conditions at the Pelican Bay SHU have been challenged in court before.  In the early 1990s, a few years after the prison opened, a class action suit was brought on behalf of prisoners there. The resulting court decision found SHU conditions to be unconstitutional for mentally ill prisoners and prisoners who were at high risk of mental illness.

Although the court emphasized that the harsh conditions at the SHU “may press the outer bounds of what most humans can psychologically tolerate,” it did not find them to constitute cruel and unusual punishment for all prisoners held there. The court emphasized, however, that its ruling covered people who had been held at the SHU for a few years—mostly three years or less—and that it could “not even begin to speculate on the impact on inmates confined in the SHU for periods of 10 to 20 years or more.”

The present case poses exactly the situation that the previous court did not reach.  It catalogues a range of psychological harms stemming from confinement at the SHU, including depression, nervousness, headaches, insomnia, nightmares, fears of an impending nervous breakdown, hallucinations, and multiple suicide attempts.

“I feel dead,” said Luis Esquivel, one of the plaintiffs in the suit, to his lawyers. “It’s been thirteen years since I have shaken someone’s hand and I fear I’ll forget the feel of human contact.”

~

Joanne Mariner, a Justia columnist, is the director of Hunter College’s Human Rights Program. She is an expert on human rights, counterterrorism, and international humanitarian law. She is the author of the Human Rights Watch report, No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons.

June 8, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gaza engineer still in isolation despite deal

Ma’an – 22/05/2012

RAMALLAH – A Gaza engineer kidnapped by Israel in the Ukraine last year is the last remaining prisoner held in solitary confinement, after the hunger-strike deal sought to end the practice, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Dirar Abu Sisi is still being held in an isolation cell in Ashkelon prison, while all others have been returned to normal wards, lawyer Karim Karim Ajwah said, noting his case was “kept secret in an unusual way.”

Abu Sisi disappeared in February 2011 while traveling on a train in Ukraine and Israel later announced that it was holding him in a southern Israeli jail.

A former head of the Gaza power plant, he is accused of working with Hamas to improve its rocket technologies.

Abu Sisi threatened to refuse food and water if promises to move him from solitary confinement are not fulfilled.

He asked his lawyer to contact Egypt to intervene in his case, after the country brokered a deal last Tuesday between Israeli authorities and Palestinian prisoners to end a mass hunger strike in Israeli jails.

The agreement included a commitment to move isolated prisoners to normal cells within 72 hours, according to prison representatives.

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Comments Off on Gaza engineer still in isolation despite deal

Palestinian Detainees To Hold Hunger Strike

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC & Agencies | March 15, 2012

The Media Office of the Waed Society for Detainees and Ex-Detainees reported that Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons and detention camps intend to declare, in April, one of the largest open-ended hunger strikes.

The society said that the detainees will declare the exact day that would mark the beginning of their strike shortly before starting it as they anticipate that Israeli soldiers will be conducting counter measures and attacks in order to foil the strike.

Some of the anticipated, and previously experienced measures, include transferring dozens of detainees from one facility to another, and placing others in solitary confinement.

Head of the media office of the Waed Society, Abdullah Qandeel, stated that the detainees confirmed to the Society that the strike will be decisive and has several main goals topped by demanding an end to the illegal solitary confinement policies, medical negligence, and all Administrative Detention orders, the Maan News Agency reported.

Qandeel added that this strike requires extensive solidarity from the Palestinian people in order to expose the Israeli violations and support the detainees in their open-ended “battle”.

He further stated that media coverage of the strike, and highlighting the plight of the detainees in Israeli prisons, detention and interrogation facilities, is very essential, especially in the Arab world and Europe.

March 15, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Comments Off on Palestinian Detainees To Hold Hunger Strike