Palestinian Prisoners

European Parliamentarians Call for the Freeing of Palestinian Prisoners
Palestine News Agency (WAFA)

The European Parliaments Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council Monday called after the conclusion of the two-day conference on Palestinian prisoners held in Ramallah for the freeing of Palestinian political prisoners from Israeli jails.The conference, Freedom and Dignity, focused on the situation and political role of Palestinian prisoners while marking 11 years for the arrest of Fatah leader and Palestinian parliament member, Marwan Barghouti. The EP members said in a statement that holding more than 4800 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including women and children and some held since before the 1993 Oslo agreement, along with members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, among them Marwan Barghouti, will have “a major impact on Palestinian society as well as on peace prospects between Israelis and Palestinians.””We call therefore for an immediate release of Palestinian political prisoners, including all detained members

of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and we remain convinced that a substantial release of Palestinian prisoners and detainees could be a positive contribution to trust-building between both sides,” said the EP members.They said that holding Palestinians in prisons and detention centers that are located inside Israel “clearly violates the Fourth Geneva Convention and creates huge obstacles to family visits.”The statement called on the Israeli authorities to respect the prisoners' right to family visit.The European parliamentarians denounced Israel’s use of administrative detention, whereby it holds Palestinians in jail without formal charge or trial. “We call for an immediate end to this practice and call upon Israel to ensure that all Palestinian detainees be charged and brought to a fair trial, with judicial guarantees in accordance with international standards, or be promptly released.”The statement also called on Israel “to protect Palestinian prisoners’ health and lives, in line with her obligations under international law and the rule of law.”They urged Israel “to open independent, impartial and transparent investigations into all cases of allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of Palestinian prisoners as well as to make the findings of such investigations public and to hold accountable those responsible for such acts.”The statement also called for providing proper treatment for women prisoners and to put an end to the ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the military detention centers.The EP members called on the European Union “to monitor closely the situation of Palestinian detainees and raise this issue at all levels of dialogue with Israel.”They also called for sending a European Parliament fact-finding mission “to assess detention conditions of Palestinian prisoners and the practice of administrative detention by Israel, as mentioned in the resolution the Parliament adopted on 14 March 2013.”They said that ” Israel's commitment to respect its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law vis à vis Palestinians, in the light of Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, must be taken into full consideration in the Union's bilateral relations with the country.”The EP Delegation is composed of the chair Emer Costello (S&D, IE) Veronique De Keyser (S&D, B), Alexandra Thein (ALDE, DE), Nicole Kiil-Nielsen (Greens/EFA, F), and Georgios Toussas (GUE/NGL, GR).

PALESTINE: des députés européens appellent Ashton à l'action
Agence Europe

Bruxelles, 06/05/2013 (Agence Europe) – Les membres de la délégation du Parlement européen pour les relations avec le Conseil législatif palestinien ont appelé, le 3 mai, la Haute représentante de l'UE pour les Affaires étrangères et les États membres « à insister pour qu'Israël mette fin aux politiques illégales qui empêchent la reprise des négociations pour mettre un terme à l'occupation ». « Seul un terme à l'occupation peut restaurer la liberté et la dignité du peuple palestinien », ont ajouté dans leur déclaration Emer Costello (S&D, Irlande) Véronique De Keyser (S&D, Belgique), Alexandra Thein (ALDE, Allemagne), Nicole Kiil-Nielsen (Verts /ALE, France), Georgios Toussas (GUE / NGL, Grèce), en visite à Jérusalem-Est et en Cisjordanie du 27 avril au 2 mai 2013.

Selon eux, « la liberté du peuple palestinien a été écrasée par l'occupation ». Ils ont mis en avant le fait que les Palestiniens sont « privés de droits et libertés fondamentaux » tels que la liberté de mouvement, de vivre sans harcèlement et en paix, de développer leurs maisons et leurs terres, de marcher et de rouler sur les mêmes rues que les Israéliens, ou d'avoir accès aux ressources naturelles.

Rappelant que le Parlement européen a voté le 14 mars une résolution (EUROPE n°10807) dans laquelle il soulignait sa préoccupation quant aux conditions dans lesquelles les prisonniers palestiniens sont détenus dans les prisons israéliennes et appelait à une mission d'établissement des faits pour « évaluer la situation actuelle », la délégation a précisé qu'une telle mission « doit être tenue comme une question d'urgence ».

PALESTINE: European MEPS call on Ashton for action
Agence Europe

On 3 May, members of the European Parliament delegation for relations with the Palestinian legislative council called on High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and the member states “to insist that Israel put an end to the illegal policies that are preventing a resumption of negotiations to bring about an end to the occupation”. “Only an end to the occupation can restore the freedom and dignity of the Palestinian people”, added Emer Costello (S&D, Ireland), Véronique De Keyser (S&D, Belgium), Alexandra Thein (ALDE, Germany), Nicole Kiil-Nielsend (Greens/EFA, France) and Georgios Toussas (GUE/NGL, Greece) in a statement, visiting East Jerusalem and the West Bank on 27 April-2 May.

In their opinion, the freedom of the Palestinian people has been crushed by the occupation. They highlighted the fact that the Palestinians are deprived of fundamental freedoms and rights – such as freedom of movement, of living in peace without harassment, of developing their houses and land, of walking and driving on the same streets as the Israelis, and of having access to natural resources.

Reiterating that the European Parliament passed a resolution on 14 March (see EUROPE 10807) in which it underlined its concern about the conditions in which Palestinian prisoners are detained in Israeli prisons, and called for a mission to establish the facts in order to assess the current situation, the delegation said that a mission like this must be held as a matter of urgency.