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Minister: Prisoners conference to address post-UN status

Dec. 8, 2012 2:51 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 10, 2012 5:26 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- An international conference on Palestinians jailed in Israel, to take place in Iraq next week, will address the legal status of prisoners after Palestine was recognized as a non-member state at the United Nations.

Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe said Saturday that the two-day summit in Baghdad, starting on Tuesday, will focus on the impact of the status change and the "mechanism to take advantage of this new status to protect prisoners’ rights."

The conference on Palestinian prisoners, which will include personal testimonies and documentary screenings, is being held under the patronage of the Arab League.

Around 4,660 Palestinians are jailed by Israel, according to prisoners group Addameer.

The UN General Assembly voted Nov. 29 to upgrade the Palestinian status in the world body, making it a "non-member state". The decision was backed by 138 nations.

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