24 October 2023
Date: 24 October 2023
On 24 October 2023, the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) sent a letter to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), highlighting the dire circumstances facing Palestinian prisoners and detainees, and calling upon the ICRC to promptly and effectively fulfil its responsibilities towards them.
As Israeli Prison Services announced the death of two Palestinian prisoners—58-year-old Omar Draghmeh, held under administrative detention in Megiddo Prison, and 25-year-old Arafat Hamdan, held in Ofer prison—the letter took note of the unclear circumstances surrounding their deaths, primarily due to the complete isolation of prisoners from the outside world. The letter further warned about the dire and deteriorating human rights situation across historic Palestine, including within Israeli prisons and detention facilities, which needs to be addressed as a matter of grave concern.
Therefore, the letter urgently called upon the ICRC to immediately conduct visits to the prisons, with particular emphasis on Megiddo and Ofer, to comprehensively assess the circumstances of the prisoners’ deaths and inform their families of these circumstances; and to closely monitor the situation and to demand Israel, the Occupying Power, and the IPS to ensure and uphold Palestinian political prisoners’ right to life and the highest attainable standard of health and mental health, and to avoid and end all forms of arbitrary, retaliatory, and collective punishment imposed against Palestinian political prisoners.
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