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Urgent Interventions

Israel: ill treatment of youths in Israeli prison


Case ISR 060700.CC


The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Israel.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has received information from a reliable source regarding the ill-treatment of juvenile detainees in Telmond Prison.

According to the information received, the Telmond prison administration confiscated the prisoners’ personal possessions and the television and deprived them of their daily break outdoors and transferred 5 of the juvenile prisoners to isolated cells, following disturbances which erupted between juvenile detainees and prison guards. These disturbances are reportedly as a result of deteriorating conditions for juvenile detainees and increased harassment of their families during visits. In particular, prisoners informed Khaled Quzmar, lawyer for Defence for Children International/Palestine Section, that on 27 June 2000, while families were visiting their children who are detained in Telmond, Prison guards attacked one juvenile prisoner, Samir Abdel Rahman Abu Zayyada, 14 years old from Beit Illo, near Ramallah, and cursed the mothers and sisters of the juvenile prisoners using foul language.

The five children, accused of inciting the other juvenile detainees, taken into isolation were:

Abdullah Mohammad ‘Atta (16 years) from Deir Abu Mashal-Ramallah

Ayman Jamal Mubarak (16) from Jalazone Refugee Camp-Ramallah

Hassan Fathi Al-Masri (17) from Al-Issawiya-Jerusalem

Wa’el Najeeb Zahwa (16) from the Golan Heights

Khamis Mustafa Abu Rous (18) Al-Ram

It was reported that the five have been transferred back to regular cells, (although not confirmed). This allegedly followed an internal court hearing for the five on Sunday 2nd 2000 where the Director of the prison ‘ruled’ that they be sent to isolation for 48 hours, the amount of time they had already spent in isolation.

In the case of Samir Abdel Rahman Abu Zayyada, arrested on 3 April 2000, he stated that he had been slapped across the face by a prison guard. This he also reported to the Director of the prison. However, he denied the story when the guard in question was brought before him. The other prisoners, however, attest to the fact that Samir was slapped in the face.

The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned by these incidents and for the physical and psychological integrity of these juvenile detainees. In particular, OMCT wishes to express its concern over the use of isolation of juvenile prisoners as punishment.

OMCT recalls that Israel is a state party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which stresses that the imprisonment of a juvenile should be a measure of last resort.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Israel urging them to:

take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of all juvenile detainees;

guarantee an immediate investigation into these allegations, identify those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions provided by law;

put an end to the use of isolation of juvenile detainees as punishment;

guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.


Ehud Barak, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Office of the Prime Minister, 3 Kaplan Street Hakirya, Jerusalem 91007, Israel, Faxes: +972 2 566 4838 and +972 3 691 7915

Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, 29 Salah al-Din Street, Jerusalem 91029, State of Israel. Fax : + 972 2 6285 438

Minister of Defense, Ministry of Defense, 7 "A" Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel. Fax: +972 3 697 62 18.

Minister of Police, Ministry of Police, PO Box 18182, 3 Sheikh Jarrah, Kiryat Hamemshala, Jerusalem 91181, State of Israel. Fax : + 972 2 5826 769.

The Embassy of Israel in your respective countries.

Geneva, July 6, 2000

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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