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Palestinian prisoners group calls for inquiry into 116 Sudanese prisoners in Israeli jails

Oct. 27, 2008 10:22 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 27, 2008 10:22 A.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - At least 116 Sudanese refugees are held in Israeli prisons in the Negev. They are often kept in isolation from the rest of the prison population and are mostly in tents lacking proper cleaning products, warm clothing and blankets says a recent report by the Center for Prisoners' Studies.

The center was sent exclusive written documents that include information and pictures detailing the life and conditions of the refugees. The report said that the Sudanese prisoners had initially been kept alongside Palestinian prisoners in the Negev facility, but were moved "so they would not be affected by Palestinians' thoughts and political ideas."

Ra'fat Hamdounah, head of the center, said in a statement that he received information saying that the refugees lived 18 per tent, isolated from the general prison population and counted three times a day. Each prisoner is allocated three spoons full of sugar per week in addition to a daily breakfast which includes a little bread and milk, a 1pm lunch of little potatoes, bread and rice and a 9pm noodle dinner.

The center, which usually deals exclusively with Palestinian prisoners rights, said this was an issue that should be studied. One element of the story of the refugees that puzzled the center was the "reasons and justifications of those prisoners to seek refuge in Israel."

They noted that the prisoners had fled Sudan in the aftermath of the events taking place in Darfur and the civil wars of the 1990s.

Hamdounah called on the Arab league and International Red Crescent to help put a stop to refugees seeking to stay in Israel. He added that other Arab countries should open their doors to the refugees until the crisis in their own country ends and they can safely return home.

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