The solitary confinement of prisoners and detainees (hereinafter: prisoners) in prison facilities in Israel is carried out in various ways and for various purposes, but its severe impact on the prisoners is the same.
The solitary confinement of Palestinian political prisoners who are classified as “security prisoners” is doubly harsh because of the restrictions imposed on their contacts outside of prison, even when they are not held in isolation.
This position paper focuses on the consequences of solitary confinement on the body and spirit of prisoners, and especially Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons.
The paper concentrates on one type of solitary confinement, which the prison and justice system refers to as “separation” (Hafradah in Hebrew).
Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and Al Mezan consider the isolation of a prisoner from the general prisoner population – either alone or with another prisoner, deprived of virtually all human contact – to be solitary confinement, regardless of whether it is done for punitive or administrative reasons, or for purposes of interrogation.
It is the position of Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and Al Mezan that all types of solitary confinement in prison should end, given its severe impact on the physical and psychological health of prisoners.
Solitary confinement constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment and thus violates the International Covenant Against Torture (CAT) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
The Israel Medical Association and Ministry of Health should strongly oppose its use as a method of imprisonment.