The Guardian: Israeli abuse of jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti ‘amounts to torture’

Confirming testimony by detained Palestinians who have been released recently and a UN agency report, The Guardian reported that not only the newly detained persons from Gaza are subjected to torture and starvation, prisoners who have been in detention for decades are also subjected to torture, harsh, abusive treatment at the hands of the Israelis.

With thousands now held without charge, lawyers say Israel is signalling that no detainee is safe

Marwan Barghouti spends his days huddled in a cramped, dark, solitary cell, with no way to tend to his wounds, and a shoulder injury from being dragged with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Barghouti holds almost mythic status within Palestinian politics, seen as a figure whose potential to unify different factions has only grown during his 24 years in prison.


In the months since, the Palestinian prison population has almost doubled after Israeli forces began conducting regular raids across the West Bank, detaining more than 8,755 people according to the Palestinian prisoners and ex-detainees commission. Most were held under administrative detention, meaning without charge.


Every former detainee began their descriptions of detention with the lack of food, and their drastic weight loss in prison. Menus produced by the Israeli prison service show that Palestinian prisoners, referred to as “security prisoners” in the documentation, are given a different diet to other prisoners, one without meat or an ability to buy extra food from the canteen.

In his living room in Ramallah, 74-year-old activist Omar Assaf, who was released in late April, held up a small plastic cup of water, using his thumb to mark the halfway point to show how little rice he was given each day. “What I witnessed the past six months was unprecedented. There is no comparison to what it was like before,” he said. Assaf was arrested in a raid last October and held in Ofer prison in the West Bank without charge, although he laughed recalling Israeli officials accusing him of allegiance to Hamas due to his beard, despite his leftwing politics.


Recently released detainees show signs of starvation, abuse:


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