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PFLP prisoners to protest in solidarity with prisoner held in solitary

Jan. 24, 2016 3:15 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 24, 2016 4:00 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Palestinian supporters of the the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), in a statement on Sunday, threatened to launch an in-prison protest in support of a PFLP-affiliated prisoner of Israel who has been kept in solitary confinement for more than five months.

PFLP-affiliated prisoners in Israeli jails said Israeli forces have been keeping prisoner Bilal Kayid in a segregated, “bottleneck, putrid cell without ventilation, light or proper winter blankets.”

The statement highlighted that prisoners’ representatives have sent several requests to the Israeli Prison Service asking for Kayid's release from solitary “to no avail.”

In response, PFLP supporters in Israeli jails have announced that they plan to gradually refuse meals, and eventually launch a mass hunger strike if Kayid is not released from solitary confinement.

Kayid was detained on Dec. 14, 2001 and has served more than 14 years in Israeli prison.

In a 2011 statement, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture called for a world-wide "absolute prohibition" of solitary confinement in excess of 15 days, adding that "scientific studies have established that some lasting mental damage is caused after a few days of social isolation."

The Physicians for Human Rights group found that "a review of the medical literature on solitary confinement provides convincing evidence that isolation has severe psychological and physical effects."

The group said that it is the "unequivocal position of Physicians for Human Rights is that solitary confinement should not be used at all" in national security detention.
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