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Committee: Palestinians suffer from overcrowding, abuse in Ofer prison

Oct. 4, 2016 4:12 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 4, 2016 4:51 P.M.)
(File)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Palestinians held in Israel’s Ofer prison have reported massive overcrowding following an influx of new detainees, as well as abuse and mistreatment, according to testimonies collected by the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Committee said that recent large-scale detentions campaigns conducted by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory have contributed tens of new Palestinian detainees to Ofer who reported being verbally and physically assaulted during their detention, interrogation, and transfer to the prison.

According to the committee, the number of Palestinian political prisoners held at Ofer prison has surpassed 1,000.

Palestinian prisoners held at Ofer told the Committee that Israeli Prison Service (IPS) officers have continuously harassed and assaulted them, imposed thousands of dollars in monthly fines, and subjected sick prisoners to a deliberate policy of medical neglect.

A spokesperson for IPS could not immediately be reached for a request for comment on the reports.

Rights groups have long criticized Israel for the mistreatment of Palestinians in Israeli jails, as well as the illegality of their imprisonment.

Meanwhile, Israeli doctors working in Israeli prisons have been widely condemned for their complicity in the torture of Palestinian prisoners during interrogations, in violation of medical ethics and international law.

Most recently, in a statement on Monday, a lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said that a Palestinian prisoner was exposed to multiple forms of physical and psychological torture over the course of a 33-day “interrogation” period, including severe beating, verbal abuse, and prolonged handcuffing.

According to the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, a total of 7,000 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli prisons, many of whom face torture, denial of family visitation, and medical negligence.
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