JEDDAH: The rights body of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday expressed concern over reports of ill treatment meted out to more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, including women and children, languishing in Israeli jails.
The OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) said amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the lack of mandatory basic hygiene and health facilities in Israeli jails is a matter of concern.
It called on Israeli authorities to provide incarcerated Palestinians with basic facilities, in accordance with Article 76 of the Geneva Convention and relevant provisions of international human rights and humanitarian laws.
The IPHRC said Israel, the “occupying power,” routinely flouts its international obligations under the illegal and immoral pretext of “administrative detentions” by indefinitely detaining Palestinian children and innocent civilians, without charge and without access to justice.
“In view of the global health emergency, precarious hygienic conditions, inadequate health services and overcrowded Israeli prisons constitute perfect conditions for the catastrophic spread of the pandemic, putting the lives of inmates at grave risk and creating an environment for major unrest in the prisons,” the IPHRC said.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has urged all governments to “examine ways to release those particularly vulnerable to this pandemic,” including “those detained without sufficient legal basis, political prisoners and others detained simply for expressing critical or dissenting views.”
The IPHRC urged the international community, especially the UN, to pressure Israel to release all those arbitrarily detained without any legal basis, and those particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, as well as to safeguard the human rights of all Palestinian inmates.