Palestinian prisoners held in Israel’s Etzion prison have been assaulted and tortured, while enduring squalid living conditions, according to testimonies collected by a lawyer from the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs.
Hassan al-Sheikh said in a statement that Israeli forces have been assaulting Palestinian prisoners inside Etzion prison. Prisoners were also assaulted when they were detained them by breaking into their homes and beating them in front of their families.
While being transferred to the prison, prisoners were assaulted and “humiliated”. This continued in prison, with Israeli forces raiding their cells, and routinely prohibiting prisoners from sleeping, drinking water, and using the bathroom.
Palestinian prisoners also complained to al-Sheikh of ‘inedible’ food which they were given, that was served cold, and the bread was mostly rotten.
Prisoners were forced to bathe in large groups in the same shower without curtains for five minutes only, leading some prisoners to refuse taking showers altogether.
Many prisoners have reported suffering from skin disorders due to the poor conditions of the prison and lack of adequate health care. Prisons were infested with insects and bed sheets were filthy. They were also prohibited from washing or changing their underclothes.
Palestinian prisoners delivered a message through al-Sheikh, calling upon all responsible authorities to intervene and put an end to Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinian political prisoners.
They also called upon the International Committee of the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders to visit them at Etzion prison and end their suffering.
Earlier in March, 46 prisoners were on strike to protest the quality and quantity of food served to them, in addition to filthy living spaces, inadequate medical treatment, and lack of regular access to showers.
Rights groups have long criticized Israel for mistreatment of Palestinians in Israeli jails, as well as the illegality of their imprisonment.