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        Economic and Social Council
28 September 1992

Original: ENGLISH

Forty-ninth session
Item 4 of the provisional agenda


Letter dated 28 September 1992 from the Ambassador and Permanent Observer
for Palestine to the United Nations Office at Geneva addressed
to the Under-Secretary-General for Human Rights

With reference to our previous notes concerning the Israeli occupation authorities' violations of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention through their inhuman treatment of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons and detention centres in the occupied Palestinian territories and in Israel, we wish to inform you that the Israeli occupation authorities are still pursuing a policy of torture and inhuman treatment in regard to all aspects of the living conditions of Palestinian detainees in prisons and detention centres.

In addition to the practice of physical and mental torture, the prison guards frequently assault the detainees, who then have to be taken to hospital for treatment, as happened at the Ansar 2 detention centre at Gaza as a result of the torture to which the detainees had been subjected. The Palestinian citizens concerned included the following:

1. Ibrahim Muhammad Jibril, aged 17, on 18 July 1992.

2. Eid Hassan al-Bayyari, aged 55, on 27 July 1992.

3. Saadi Ismail al-Sammouni, aged 28, on 26 August 1992.

4. Ibrahim Jabir Abdul Jidyan, aged 22, on 31 August 1992.

5. Muhammad Hijazi al-Qayidh, aged 30, on 5 September 1992.

6. Muhammad Khalil Abu Jalila, aged 22, on 4 September 1992.

7. Khamis Muhammad al-Dahaliseh, aged 20, on 4 September 1992.

The Israeli occupation authorities are continuing their policy of depriving detainees of their right to engage freely in religious observances and are also preventing the circulation of cultural materials and failing to provide medical treatment for sick detainees, many of whom are left prey to diseases which slowly sap their strength and eventually prove fatal. Detainees are deprived of the requisite quality and quantity of food and are given polluted water to drink, as happened in block B at Ansar 3 detention centre in the Negev where the detainees discovered a type of larvae in their drinking water on 10 September 1992, to which they drew the attention of the prison administration. Overcrowding in small cells is in itself a form of torture and ill-treatment due to the unhygienic living conditions that it entails. This is what the Israeli occupation authorities are doing at Dhahiriya prison where cells covering an area of only 12 m2 are being used to hold about 20 detainees.

In the light of the above, the Palestinian detainees have repeatedly appealed to the International Committee of the Red Cross and international humanitarian organizations to intervene with a view to putting an end to those inhuman practices, which are totally incompatible with the provisions of international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

The prisons concerned included the following:

1. Beersheba prison, on 7 July 1992.

2. Shatta prison, on 9 July 1992.

3. Dhahiriya prison, on 13 August 1992.

4. Hebron prison, on 10 September 1992.

5. Junaid prison.

6. Ansar 2 prison at Gaza.

7. Jenin prison.

On 27 September 1992, 800 Palestinian detainees at Junaid central prison at Nablus declared an open-ended hunger-strike in protest at their ill-treatment after they had exhausted all the means at their disposal to achieve their humanitarian demands and enjoy their rights as detainees.

We are sending you this note in order to remind you that the Israeli occupation authorities are continuing the policy of repression, ill-treatment and violence that they have pursued for many years against Palestinian citizens in the occupied Palestinian territories, in spite of the resolutions of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights which, since 1967, have been calling upon Israel to implement the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied territories as an international norm for the protection of the rights of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.

The Israeli occupation authorities' refusal to honour their international commitments as a party to the Fourth Geneva Convention, in their capacity as the Power responsible for the application of the resolutions of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights and the requests and appeals of the International Committee of the Red Cross, places the international community and international humanitarian organizations under an obligation to make appropriate representations to the Israeli occupation authorities with a view to compelling them to respect the provisions of the International Bill of Human Rights and international humanitarian law in order to save the victims of Israel's rebellion against the will of the international community. These victims include the principles of international law, the will of the international community and the provisions of the humanitarian conventions governing the relationship between the occupying Power and the population living under occupation in such a way as to safeguard and protect human rights in all circumstances and situations.

In view of the above, you are kindly requested to circulate this note as an official document of the forthcoming forty-ninth session of the Commission on Human Rights under agenda item 4.

(Signed): Nabil Ramlawi
Ambassador and Permanent Observer


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