Mandela: Lawyer Duqmaq visits isolated prisoners at Ashkelon solitary confinement section

For immediate release

The lawyer of Mandela Institute and its chairman of board, Buthayna Duqmaq visited prisoners Jamal Abu Al-Haija and Ibrahim Hamed today Thursday 29/3/2007. Both prisoners are detained in solitary confinement at Ashkelon prison where Abu Al-Haija is isolated with prisoner Ihab Mas’oud from Ramallah in one cell while prisoner Hamed is isolated alone in another cell.

During the visit, prisoner Abu Al-Haija stated that isolated prisoners suffer from difficult detention conditions considering these cells as tombs where prisoners can’t recognize day from night. In these cells there are two holes, one under the ceiling and another (15*15 cm) on the cell’s door with ironic bars where it is closed during the day and opened at nights to make sure that the prisoner is inside the cell. Abu Al-Haija also stated that isolated prisoners are deprived of most of the prisoners’ natural rights indicating that they are deprived of their families visits, eating vegetables and fruits, and they are always annoyed by other mentally deranged civilian prisoners who are detained with them in the same section who keep on screaming and hitting on doors and walls at nights. Abu Al-Haija indicated that the warden prevents them from transferring anything from one cell to another and it only allows them to have one hour break a day; in addition to the bad health conditions they suffer from like headaches, backaches, and joints aches as a result to the bad detention conditions they live in.

Prisoner Ibrahim Hamed stated the difficult isolation conditions and maltreatment they suffer from. He also added that the warden attacked his cell last February and confiscated all his personal papers; in addition to being deprived of his family visits, and not receiving any treatment claiming that he is still detained despite the fact that he suffers from toothache and pores spreading on his entire body.