Thursday, April 20, 2017

Palestinians report that Israel does not allow visits by lawyers to strikers

Palestinian representatives denounced today that Israel has suspended the visits of the lawyers of the Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons that they support the indefinite hunger strike to demand an improvement of their conditions.

"The administration of the occupation prisons has prevented prisoners from meeting with their lawyers," said the Media and Communication Committee created by the Commission of Detainees and Ex-detainees and the Palestinian Prison Society from the outset Of protest.

The strike began last Sunday, coinciding with the National Day of Solidarity with the prisoners, and it is estimated that since then more than a thousand Palestinians who are serving sentences in Israeli centers.

"Israel's Prison Service has experience in dealing with hunger strikes and the means to contain them. As a rule, we do not negotiate with the prisoners," the agency said in a message.

Their spokesman, Asaf Liberati, told Efe that they are acting "according to the law without breaking the rules on visits by lawyers", which must be guaranteed.

The same authority confirmed to Efe that they have begun to take "disciplinary measures" against the inmates who support the strike and that on Tuesday they began to be transferred "to separated cells" of the rest of the prisoners.

For their part, Palestinian sources reported that many have been confined in isolation cells and their belongings have been confiscated.

The protest, voiced by Al Fatah's charismatic leader, Marwan Barguti, who is serving five life sentences in Israel, has received widespread social support and repeated expressions of solidarity with prisoners in the West Bank.

The strikers demand an improvement in their conditions, among them, the expansion of the regime of visits, access to medical treatment and the end of isolation and administrative detention that allows Israel to imprison without charge or trial.

Among the gestures of support was a demonstration in front of the Israeli prison of Ofer, the only one located in occupied Palestinian territory, that was dispersed by the Israeli security forces with tear gas, retreaded bullets and real ammunition, according to Efe.

One young Palestinian man was arrested, another wounded and several affected by the gas. EFE

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