UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
“Unifying the Efforts for Supporting Our Prisoners”
Today, marks the anniversary of the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, this day was formally declared by the UN’s General Assembly in 1997 as an International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, and as a reminder of the agreement of the Convention against Torture issued by the UN in 1984 and the need for supporting prisoners and survivors of torture everywhere.
This occasion comes in times while thousands of Palestinian prisoners are held captive in Israeli jails, where there are 7000 prisoners in Israeli jails, including 400 children, 70 women and 750 prisoners are held in administrative detention without any charge. The Israeli Occupation Forces are practicing all forms of torture and degradation against Palestinian prisoners, and against their basic rights, which are guaranteed by the international agreements, specially the Fourth Geneva Convention. These violations arise from practices of oppression and humiliation and all methods of physical and psychological torture such as solitary confinement, medical negligence, and strip search, depriving them from family visits, administrative detention without trial and many other inhuman practices.
Such actions are in violation with the International Humanitarian Law and the human rights treaties and conventions, and aim at crushing the prisoners’ wills and breaking their spirits. Where it has dangerous psychological and social effects on the prisoners, their families and the whole Palestinian community as proved by studies conducted by the programme.
The Palestinian Prisoners movement proved to be an integral and crucial part of the Palestinian national movement as they follow, from behind the bars of the jails, the issues and crises of their people and suggest possible solutions for them.
With the Palestinians receiving the status of non-member observer state at the United Nations and joining international agreements and conventions related to human rights especially the contractual treaties such as UN Convention against Torture. This imposes on the Palestinians more duties for respecting the Palestinian human rights , and it also poses an opportunity through which the prisoners issue is internationalized and given more attention on the national and international levels.
On this occasion Gaza Community Mental Health Programme stress that the Palestinian Authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are requested today more than any other time to respect the Palestinian prisoners’ rights and to treat them according to the Palestinian laws and the International conventions.
The Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian civil soceity represented by International Human Rights Organizations, NGO’s, prisoners Family Support Organizations, monitoring bodies such as the Palestinian Legislative council are called upon to have a role in enhancing the protection rights for the detainees and the released prisoners by providing them with all forms of economic, social, and psychological support .
Finally, we convey our salute and admiration for all the Palestinian prisoners’ and their families inside and outside Palestine.
Let’s unify our efforts for supporting our prisoners, released prisoners and their families and provide them with all needed forms of support
Gaza Community Mental health Programme