Prisoners held without indictment
Photo: Ra'anan Ben Zur
Hadarim Detention Center
Photo: Raanan Ben-Zur
Wardens who set dogs on inmates, an inmate being held under administrative detention for 10 years, and serious flaws in prison medical care are only some of the conclusions of an investigation conducted by the Israel Bar at Hadarim Detention Center and Hasharon Prison.
The investigation, summed up in a report by attorneys Amnon Zikhroni and Michael Atiya, probed the conditions afforded by the felony and security wards at Hadarim, where most of the Palestinian organization's leaders are held in Israel, as well as the conditions in the juvenile and women's wards in Hasharon Prison.
The report stipulates that in many cases inmates are subjected to unprovoked and whimsical chastisement by the prison guards, and presents charges of assault made by several inmates against the wardens. Some of them claim the guards responsible for moving them to different venues unleash dogs upon them, humiliate and debase them, and later file unfounded charges against them in order to justify their actions.
One of the more serious cases reported is that of a prisoner named Mohammad Azaan, who has been held for the past 10 years under administrative arrest without trial or indictment. Azaan traveled to Afghanistan in the '80s and was arrested upon returning. Since then Azaan has been held under the condition that another country accept him.
Aside from the guards' attitude towards them, the inmates also complained of their conditions, claiming that in many cases their medical care was delayed to the point of death. They also claim their cells are not properly ventilated or adequately lighted. In the women's ward the situation is direr, as their infants are sometimes placed in cramped and crowded conditions.
The report's findings were transferred to the Attorney General's Office, the Israeli Prison Service, and the Internal Security Ministry. Attorney Yuri Guy Ron, who heads the Israeli Bar, said the investigation is of paramount importance to maintaining prison conditions.
"This report expresses the significance of allowing professional and objective representatives of the Israeli Bar to visit the prisons and insist the prisoners be held under humane conditions," Ron said.