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Israeli guards threaten striking prisoners

April 6, 2010 12:50 P.M. (Updated: April 6, 2010 5:51 P.M.)
Salfit – Ma'an – Israel's Ramon Prison service threatened to deprive striking Palestinian detainees of family visits in May if the current strike protesting the mistreatment of prisoners and visiting family members continues.

Palestinian prisoners across 13 Israeli detention centers began a boycott of family visits on 1 April, and punctuated the start of the boycott with a day-long hunger strike. Prisoners say some are denied family visits, and at times family members at the prisons are mistreated, actions prisoners want to cease.

A message from detainees in Ramon, delivered by a lawyer with the Palestinian Prisoners Society, said guards at the facility had told prisoners that if the boycott was not halted, privileges at the cantina - the prison shop where Palestinians must purchase items like soap and notebooks - will be revoked and family visits will be prohibited for the month of May.

When he received the letter, the society's lawyer noted Gaza resident Hammad Abu Arra had been sent to solitary confinement, where he spend more than 30 days. "Abu Arra completed his sentence last year," the lawyer added.

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