Demands of Palestinian political prisoners as presented

By the  Unified National and Islamic Leadership to the Israeli Prison Authority

First: Visits

–         Removal of glass barrier in visiting areas;

–         Increase visit time to one hour instead of 30 minutes;

–         Unrestricted permission of children as in the past;

–         Unrestricted permission for all relatives to visit prisoners;

–         Doubling the number of brothers/sisters allowed to visit;

–         Permission of “Special Visits” i.e. no barrier;

–         Permission of second and third degree relatives to visit prisoners;

–         Incarceration of prisoners in facilities near their place of residence;

–         Congregate blood-related prisoners in one prison;

–         Permission of clothes and personal effects as in the past;

–         Permission of photo taking with relatives;

–         Permission of 4-hour visits for Arab prisoners once every six months;

–         Permission to receive photos without restricting numbers;

–         Permission to receive traditional clothes such as Gallabas, Kufias, Watches, Blankets;

–         Restore family visits on Fridays;

–         Allow family members to enter upon arrival without having to wait at prison gates or at roadblocks;

–         Permission to give families merchandise bought from the canteen without restricting amounts;

–         Permission to give families all types of soft drinks and not restrict this to Sprite;

–         Permission to attend visits without having to abide with certain color or style of clothes;

–         Permission to give families handicrafts made by prisoners;

–         Permission to receive all makes of cigarettes, cassettes, and Atari and video tapes from visiting families.

Second Demand: Telephone Communications

–         Installation of public phones in holding sections and yards. Authorization of mobile telephones for every cell or each prisoner;

–         Permission to the prisoners’ representative to contact lawyers, human rights NGOs and the Palestinian Ministry for the Prisoners;

–         Removal of all electronic jamming devices which causes cancer.

Third Demand

–         Define a list of personal effects a prisoner may receive. The prisoners’ representative must keep a copy of the list;

–         Modification of the current fruit and vegetable basket and cessation of all reductions;

–         Permission to purchase fish, meat, fruit and vegetables periodically every month;

–         Allowing prisoners prepare their own meals in accordance with cultural and religious requirements;

–         Reinstallation of kitchens that were withdrawn from certain prisons;

–         Replacement of worn-out kitchen utensils;

–         Opening a bakery and allowing prisoners accused of security offences to work there.

Fourth Demand: Medical Treatment

–         Improvement of prison clinics in order to attend emergency cases especially at Nafha Prison and assign a doctor for daily duty;

–         Allow an inmate to work at the clinic;

–         Carry out prescribed surgeries immediately;

–         Permission of private doctors and the facilitation of easy access to doctors;

–         Extension of the list of doctors permitted to enter prisons in order to include all specializations;

–         Permission to have dental surgeries including transplants at the expense of the prisoner and through his own dentist;

–         Carry out surgeries to those who had been waiting for years to transplant corneas, kidneys and artificial limbs;

–         Permission to purchase orthopedic mattresses, pillows, shoes and certain medications through prison canteens;

–         Resolution of problems at Ramla Prison Hospital;

–         Conduct an annual checkup for prisoners;

–         Allowing an optometrist to conduct routine visits and perform an eye exam for each inmate once every six months. Change of eyeglasses as needed. Fitting prisoners with contact lenses and resolve the problem of cornea transplants;

–         Allow prisoners to have Glucose and Blood Pressure Monitors.

Fifth Demand: Prisoner Count

–         Regulation of prisoner count process. Return of inmates placed in isolation or solitary confinement for prolonged periods to regular holding cells. Ending all transcendence and aggressive policies by the prison authority.

Sixth Demand: Fines

–         An immediate end to all forms of collective punishment;

–         Cessation of imposition of fines;

–         Cessation of the policies of confiscation of personal effects and the restriction of family visits;

–         Reimbursement of appropriated funds and using it instead in the development of health and education services for prisoners;

–         Payment of compensation for any effects that were intentionally destroyed;

–         Limiting the disciplinary punishment of solitary confinement to one week maximum as long as the cell contains a toilet, a basin with a faucet. Prisoners to be allowed 2 hours of exercise time. Permission of a fan, books, recorder and canteen items. Refrain from cuffing the prisoner inside the cell or during meeting with administrative officers or even during court sessions.

Seventh Demand: University Education

–         Permission to join Arab and foreign universities;

–         Immediate end to the punishment of restriction of access to education;

–         Permission to receive magazines and newspapers;

–         Permission to purchase electronic dictionaries other than to al-Huda Dictionary;

–         ??????

–         Assign study rooms and re-opening of libraries;

–         Allow all stationary products;

–         Permission to photocopy researches and other study material;

Eighth Demand: Canteens

–         Permission to purchase merchandise from Arab sources;

–         Annulment of the 17% Value Added Tax;

–         Unification of canteen prices throughout all prisons;

–         Annulment of restrictions on quantities and types of purchases through canteens;

–         Formation of a committee to explore legality of the VAT and the possibility to allow prisoners benefit from the profits made by canteens;

Ninth Demand: Exercise and Movement within Sections

–         Reinstatement of the 4-hour exercise period;

–         Reinstatement of intra-section visitations throughout the day;

–         Permission to keep cell/section doors open;

–         Reinstatement of permission to go out for exercise to those elderly, infirm, prisoners with special needs and those serving over ten year sentences;

–         Permission to allow university enrolled students to choose appropriate exercise time;

–         Permission to allow prisoners’ representatives and prisoners’ committee members to visit sections and exercise areas to follow up problems without having to be subjected to the whims of the officer on duty. Prisoners’ representatives should be allowed to be present during visits;

–         Opening of the gate to the exercise area every half an hour to allow return to cells;

–         Unrestricted movement within the same section;

–         Installation of faucets within every section;

–         Reinstatement of the weekly clean up;

–         Reinstallation of the water pipe in the exercise area;

–         Change exercise time to 3:00 PM-5:00 PM and 5:00 PM-7:00 PM;

–         Permission to keep workers in the exercise area until 8:00 PM;

–         Keeping a prisoner for at least two years in one prison unless he/she files for transfer;

–         Cessation of periodic transfer to prisons;

–         Permission to allow Friday preachers to move within sections;

–         Reinstatement of the permission allowing prisoners organize parties, panel discussions and contests in the exercise areas;

–         Allowing unrestricted movement between cells;

–         Permission to practice karate during sport classes.

Tenth Demand: Utensils, Private and Public Equipment

–         Permission to purchase personal effects for every prisoner such as: Electronic dictionary (Other than al-Huda), Reading light, Electric shaver and a Fan;

–         Installation of vents and air conditioners in the holding rooms and sections;

–         Installation of an air conditioner in the visitation and waiting areas;

–         Provision of a thermos;

–         Provision of an electrical cooking pot for each room;

–         Provision of a small refrigerator for every room;

–         Installation of a radio aerial;

–         Permission to wear fur jackets;

–         Permission to have and use belts;

–         Permission to have ropes for sports;

–         Permission to have and use cameras in every section and allowing collective photos;

–         Permission to have and use one fruit knife in every room.

Eleventh Demand: Security Checks and Searches

–         Limiting searches of prisoners and visiting family members to that done by machines;

–         Cessation of searches of children under 14 years of age;

–         Immediate cessation of strip search;

–         Cessation of surprise night searches and the use of Massada Unit which needs to be dissolved;

–         Cessation of cuffing prisoners during count;

–         Cessation of confiscation and/or destruction of personal effects during searches;

–         Cessation of searches prior to or during exercise time, prayers or sport classes;

–         Limiting security checks to once a day and without ordering prisoners outside the holding cells;

–         Use exercise time to conduct searches of holding cells;

–         Limiting general inspection of prisons to once every six months.

Twelfth Demand: Working Areas

–         Increase number of inmates working in the cafeteria and other work stations;

–         Permission to allow prisoners with security offences to work in kitchens, laundry station and the sewing shop;

–         Permission to allow two inmates stay until 10:30 PM and the extension of exercise time till 7:00 PM;

–         Reinstatement of the inmate assigned to the exercise area, addition of another prisoner to those working in the corridors;

–         Permission to allow an inmate work in the prison clinic;

–         Reinstatement of exercise time for working inmates;

–         Increase in prisoners’ wages

–         Addition of an inmate to the library team;

–         Permission to allow a maintenance worker in every section to maintain electrical appliances;

–         Provision of shaving utensils by the administration and replacement of utensils every six months.

Thirteenth Demand: Prisoner Count

–         Permission to exempt prisoners occupying upper beds from getting out of the bed. They could simply sit up on the bed for the daily count;

–         A hand signal should be enough for those taking shower or using the toilet. Guards may pass the cell and come back to it later.

Fourteenth Demand: Buses, Temporary Holding Areas (The Crossing), Waiting Areas

–         Permission to carry canteen merchandise such as canned foods on the bus;

–         During transfer, prisoners may just go straight to the bus and not have to wait in the waiting areas;

–         Replacement of the bus metal seats with foam;

–         Prisoners to be cuffed individually;

–         Permission to allow prisoners’ representatives meet newly arrived prisoners as they get out of the bus;

–         Improvement of the “Temporary Holding Cells” at Ashqelon, Beer Shiva’ and Ramla prisons;

–         Removal of the black windows on the buses.

Fifteenth Demand: Miscellaneous Demands

–         Return of the canned foods and glasses that were recently confiscated from Ashqelon and Nafha prisons;

–         Permission to make handicrafts and to purchase necessary items from prison canteens or receive it through family visits;

–         Removal of asbestos ceilings and fixing ventilation in holding sections;

–         Reinstatement of provisions of hygiene products and tooth brushes and toothpaste previously provided by the administration;

–         Provision and posting  lists containing Prison Authority rules and regulations in Arabic in every holding section;

–         Increase the number TV channels;

–         Return of wood panels for the bunk beds, change bunk beds every year and paint the cells;

–         Restrain male officers from entering sections holding female prisoners;

–         Improvement of the conditions under which Palestinian juveniles are incarcerated;

–         Cessation of compulsory transfer of prisoners;

–         Removal of one bunk bed from each room;

–         Annulment of the special punishment for those accused of perpetrating serious offences and allow them to hold prison jobs;

–         Application of the Fourth Geneva Convention and other human rights instruments and treatment of Palestinian prisoners as Prisoners of War;

–         Return to the use of buses for transfer;

–         Allow family visits during religious holidays;

–         Increase the number of visitors during holidays;

–         Permission to send out written art works such as novels, poetry and memoirs with visiting family members;

–         Define and determine the “Life sentence” in number of years and apply the “Two thirds” rule;

–         Non-interference in the Friday sermons and refrain from punishing the preacher for the contents of a sermon;

–         Admission of books with hard covers;

–         Install a partition between the shower area and the toilet area;

–         Fitting prisoners with special needs with necessary artificial limbs■

The Unified National and Islamic Leadership for the Hunger Strike 11/8/2004.

  Results of a Meeting between the Prisoners’ Representative and the Administration of Ashqelon Prison

–         Permission to contact parents and kids by telephone after an application is made;

–         Permission for children, irrelevant of age, to visit at least once a year;

–         End the policy of strip search in all prisons except in the rare emergency cases;

–         End the practice of cuffing prisoners on the way to clinics, family visits, or to meet with lawyers in all prisons;

–         Women, irrelevant of age, are permitted to visit prisoners;

–         Permission for those sentenced to life to go out for work;

–         Periodical review of a prisoner’s file and reconsideration of the red file;

–         Children are allowed to go beyond partition and spend the last fifteen minutes of the visit;

–         Freedom of movement is granted for the prisoners’ representatives;

–         Increase the amount of meat to be purchased from half a kilogram to two and a half kilograms per month;

–         Permission is granted to double the amount of vegetables to be purchased per month;

–         Permission to receive food supplies from families during visits once a month such as lemons, grape leaves, spinach, garlic, coffee, oil and spices;

–         Permission to change TV networks and to purchase extra lamps for the cells;

–         Permission to purchase pastries such as Baklava and Kunafa;

–         Permission to open a barber shop, washer and dryer, and a library;

–         Permission to allow prisoners on work shifts a special exercise time;

–         Permission to purchase drinking glasses from the prison canteen;

–         Permission to purchase vegetable baskets for each cell;

–         Installation of additional shelves inside each cell;

–         Repair the washroom in the prison courtyard and install a door for it;

–         Permission to have benches and chairs in the courtyard;

–         To arrange for having only one prison’s room during “security” checking not the entire section ;

–         Increase of exercise time from 2 to 3 hours;

–         Increase the time allowed for intra-section visitation to 2 hours;

–         Permission to allow an extra hot plate for each room;

–         Permission to have an extra TV in rooms holding more than ten prisoners;

–         Dispense one bag for each prisoner;

–         Allot one iron for each section;

–         Permission to purchase tape recorders through the prison canteen;

–         Dispense a wooden board to each prisoner;

–         Permission to purchase a laundry hanger for each section;

–         Permission to purchase cooking pots and trays from the canteen;

–         Permission to have plastic serving spoons and a peeler for each room;

–         Return of all prisoners who were placed in isolation during the strike to their original holding sections;

–         Purchases of milk by-products are only allowed from the Israeli company Tnuva;

–         Purchases of Pastrami and Sausages from the canteens only;

–         Improving the quality of food and replacement of kitchen staff;

–         Searches of visiting families to be conducted in a respectful manner;

–         Primary permission to correspond with foreign universities is granted;

–         Review and reconsideration of files of prisoners under prolonged solitary confinement;

–         Permission to take photos with visiting family members who are over seventy years old;

–         Increase of intra-section visitation time;

–         Installation of a special hook for exercise;

–         Transfer of blood-related prisoners to one prison;

–         To allow section 11 to practice outdoor exercise ; 

–         Permission to allow intra-section visitation as of next month;

–         Permission to allow Arab medical specialists through the prison clinic;

Telephones are not allowed

The mesh wire in the visitation area in under examination

5 September 2004

  Letter by Palestinian Prisoners to the Administration of Katzi’ot Detention Compound

14 September 2004

For Immediate Release

“We had hoped for a positive response regarding the just demands we had presented to you at the beginning of our hunger strike. We expected the realization of our demands especially it is of humanitarian nature which conform to international laws and norms. Instead we were surprised by your decision to build walls between the sections of the compound and around the compound itself. This wall represents a nightmare which we cannot and will not tolerate. Life would be impossible in the presence of such walls. The prisonell not tolerate. Life would be impossible in the presence of such walls. The prisoners will take protest measures to express our displeasure and we hold you responsible for any further developments. Accordingly, we will return the three meals on Tuesday 14 September 2004 and we shall not be able to take the garbage out. Our demands are as follows:

–         Annulment of the decision to build the wall between the compound’s sections;

–         Permission to join correspondence university programs;

–         Permission of intra-section visitation;

–         Removal of segregation partitions in the family visitation area, refrain from insulting families and permission to receive gifts from visiting families;

–         Removal of the partition in Section 5;

–         Improvement of infrastructure in Section 5;

–         Improvement of quality and quantity of food;

–         Return of soap and increase the amount of hygiene material;

–         Improvement of electrical wiring in Section 5;

–         Replacement of old and worn-out tents;

–         Permission to have electrical appliances;

–         Replacement of the rodent and insect-ridden beds;

–         Removal of the mesh wire above section A;

–         Removal of electronic and jamming surveillance devices;

–         Refrain from automatic renewal of administrative detention orders;

–         Reduction the number of prisoners to 100 in each section;

–         Permission to use cameras;

–         Provision of tables and chairs for students;

–         Provision of benches for the compound yards;

–         Repatriation of isolated inmates back to normal holding cells;

–         Family visits to include children;

–         Reinstatement of tobacco distribution;

–         Provision of washing basin in each section;

–         Permission to purchase meat from outside the compound;

–         Installation of public telephones in each section