Repression of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli Shata (Gilboa) Prison


By Attorney Muhammad Abu-Raia from Sakhnin, of the "Prisoners Friends Association"

Report on visit at Shata (Gilboa) Prison on à¾2004–07–07

On July 7, 2004, I visited the Gilboa Prison and met Yasser Abu-Bakr from Nablus at cell-block 2, Muhammad As´ad Kannane from Arabe in the Gallillee at cell-block 1, Amjad Husni Abu-Khaled from the village of Kufr-Thilth in the Qaliqiliya district at cell-block 4, who reported the following.

Amjad Husni Abu-Khaled reported that on the morning of Teusday, July 6, at 9:05 AM, in an eruption resulting from the prison managements constant degradation and humiliation of the prisoners, the prisoner Murad Abu-Rukab of cell-block 4, who had just been returned to the cell-block from a punishment of solitary confinement, spilt hot water on the security officer. Amjad Husni Abu-Khaled added that a group of prisoners tried to stop Murad Abu-Rukab´s eruption and succeeded in gaining control over him. Despite this the prison management did not stop at punishing the prisoner and containing the matter between him and the security officer, for example by placing him in solitary confinement again, but rather attacked the entire cell-block numbering 120 prisoners with tear-gas and clubs, which caused dozens to lose consciousness, transferred dozens to solitary confinement, confiscated all electrical appliances such as televisions, cooking appliances, fans and food such as oil, sugar and salt, and closed the haircut room and the laundry.

Furthermore, the prison management put all the prisoners of the cell-block into a courtyard and forced them to kneel on their knees while handcuffed in the scorching sun, while the prison guards continue to beat them. The indiscriminate beatings caused many to lose consciousness in the yard and caused the breaking of prisoners´ Ibrahim Barake´s teeth.

Muhammad As`ad Kannane, General Secretary of Abna Al-Balad movement, under arrest in cell-block 1, reported that the prisoners in this cell-block decided to return their lunch portions, that is to go on a hunger strike, in protest of what had occurred in cell-block 4 and in solidarity with the prisoners there. This enraged the prison management and served as a pretext for collective repression of the cell-block, which was attacked at 2 PM with tear-gas and clubs, which caused most of the prisoners to lose consciousness. Furthermore all prisoners in the cell-block, numbering 120, were forced to kneel in the yard under the scorching sun, all their electrical appliances were confiscated, and dozens were punished with solitary confinement.

Yasser Abu-Bakr at cell-block 2 reported that the prison management tried to provoke the prisoners in that cell-block in order to repress them as in cell-blocks 1 and 4, but the prisoners´ self-discipline and restraint prevented the management from carrying out its plan.

All the prisoners who were beaten will file complaints against their attackers.

The prisoners call on all institutions concerned with human rights to intervene to stop the abuse to which the prisoners are subjected to on a daily and systematic basis, to send in doctors who will examine the prisoners who were injured and document their medical condition, and they call on all national Palestinian, Arab and international institutions to expose what is occurring in the "Abu-Ghraib" of the "Israeli democratic oasis".