Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Middle East: Palestinians move from jail to jail, says human rights advocate

Source: IRNA

The world must seek the testimonies of the returned sons and daughters of Palestine and learn from their ordeal after being exchanged for an Israeli soldier, says human rights advocate Clive Hambidge.

“Palestinian soldiers and civilians of no blame, who were incarcerated in Israeli prisons for resisting the brutal occupation of their land, return to find themselves in another prison, besieged Gaza, while others were forced into exile,” Hambidge said.

“All of the Palestinians released face an uncertain future. The future remains even more bleak for the Palestinian children left behind Israel's prison walls,” he said in an interview with IRNA.

Hambidge, director at Facilitate Global, castigated the totally biased response to the exchange focusing only on the welfare of only Israeli sergeant Gilad Shalit, who he suggested may have been only a 'political pawn.”

This included a statement by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said he “can only imagine the heartache of the last 5 years” for the Israeli soldier and his family.

“What about the 'the long cruel and unjustified captivity' of the Palestinian children, where according to the United Nations Human Rights Council, 'administrative' detention is regularly used against Palestinian children,” the human rights advocate asked.

“Their rights denied and they are thrown into 'seriously bad prison conditions including over-crowding, family visits denied, arbitrary transfers, torture and ill-treatment by Israeli security soldiers and prison guards, deteriorating health conditions and increasing deaths in custody,” he said.

According to Hambidge, an abstract painter by profession, Gaza is an “open prison that is created and sustained by Israel through the pernicious and unconscionable use of 'de-development.'

It is the 'deliberate, systematic and progressive dismemberment of an indigenous economy by a dominant one, where economic, and by extension, societal potential is not only distorted but denied.'

He said that if left those not forced into exiles “a life of subsistence under an illegal blockade and the revealing by successive Israeli administrations of the worst aspects of the human condition, hate, leading to the inevitable expression of the evils of Apartheid.”

The director of Facilitate Global quoted numerous examples of Israeli human rights abuses and contempt for international law, including having a killing ratio of more than 100 Palestinians for the death of every one Israeli that “lacks any morality.”

An example was what happens in the notorious and secret Facility 1391 prison, which Hambidge described “Israel's Guantanamo Bay', where access has consistently been denied even to The Red Cross and other international organisations.

He said all the abuses made it clear that 'Universal Jurisdiction' must be upheld and those leaders, aware of the abuse indeed are then complicit in it, must be brought before the International Court of Justice.”

“The world needs to know that shockingly even civil matters have and had been dealt with by Israeli military courts.'

“For decades now as soon as a child reaches the age of 16 and was accused, he was brought before the ‘kangaroo courts’ of the Israeli military in flagrant violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

He told IRNA that ignoring then international laws and conventions, “these unprotected innocents were at the mercy of the brutal occupier and that is no mercy at all.”

“Shame on Israel. Shame on David Cameron. And shame on America and the international community, for their continued silence and therefore continuing complicity,” Hambide said.

“Great Britain might be a High Contracting Party to the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is today acting as a low, slithering retracting party to the whitewash of lies issuing from Israel's propaganda machine,” he said.