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A call to immediate action to halt war crimes against Palestinian prisoners

A call to immediate action to halt war crimes against Palestinian prisoners


(Witness): An appeal to States Parties to the Geneva conventions

The Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) sends a human rights memorandum to the diplomatic missions of the states parties to the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions on Thursday, June 6, 2024. The memo calls for an urgent meeting to discuss the serious violations perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian prisoners in their prisons.

(Witness) expresses its grave concern regarding testimonies of released detainees from Gaza Strip reporting physical and psychological abuse, degrading treatment, and death by torture they have been subjected to. Since the beginning of the Israeli aggression against Gaza Strip on October 7,2023, the occupation forces have launched a large-scale campaign of detentions which has intensified after the ground incursion, rising the number of detainees to 9,500, including 3660 administrative detentions and 320 women and children.

The memo indicates that detainees are held in a military camp known as "Sdeh Teiman" between Beersheba and Gaza. It notes that the actual number of prisoners and their locations remain unknown. Furthermore, it explains that recent legislative amendments by the occupation have bestowed broad powers that allow the detention of individuals for prolonged periods without trial and legal consultation. These actions are in clear violation of international law and constitute war crimes.

The memo highlights appalling testimonies of torture and harsh treatment endured by the detainees, including torture resulting in death, humiliating treatment extending to sexual abuse, and inadequate healthcare leading to amputations for some prisoners. It also affirms that these violations constitute compelling evidence of the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Palestinian prisoners.

The memo calls upon the parties to the Geneva Conventions to take immediate action to convene an urgent meeting to address these violations and work towards their cessation. It urges the establishment of independent international oversight in Israeli prisons and the formation of a UN investigative committee to monitor the conditions of prisoners, reveal their identities and places of detention, and facilitate the repatriation of the bodies of victims who died under torture.

(Witness) stresses the urgent need for immediate action to save the lives of thousands of prisoners and detainees, ensuring their protection in accordance with international standards, and putting an end to these escalating violations.

The Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness)

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