The Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights “Hurryyat” condemned the most blatant violation of the prisoners’ rights yesterday in Ofer prison due to the large number of special forces armed with firearms, rubber bullets, tear gas, and violent dogs that stormed into the prison and committed multiple acts of violence and abused prisoners, thus posting a serious threat to the prisoners’ lives. This incident is a reminder of a previous and similar crime that took place in 2007 at the prison in Negev, which lead to the death of imprisoned Mohammed Al-Ashqar and injured hundreds of detainees.
The center confirmed that large numbers of different special forces broke into multiple prison sections; including the minor’s section, which resulted in the injury of more than 100 prisoners, including twenty whom were transferred to hospitals.
Hurryyat believes this unprecedented escalation comes in the context of an atmosphere of incitement to prisoners and their rights and legal status, as well as work on the enactment of racist and discriminatory legislation affecting the lives of prisoners, specifically the death penalty. The center expresses their fears and concerns over the conversion of prisoners to electoral material in the midst of the Israeli elections in which right-wing parties are competing and debating over violating the rights of prisoners.
As multiple sources warn of a serious threat to the lives of the prisoners in Ofer prison, the Occupation Authorities, represented by Interior Minister Aradan, the Prison Service and the Ofer Prison Administration, bear full responsibility for the lives of the prisoners and any harm inflicted on them.
Hurryyat calls upon the International Committee of the Red Cross and international human rights institutions to intervene in order to stop the ongoing crimes against the prisoners and to provide them with international protection in accordance with the provisions of international humanitarian law and international human rights standards that guarantee the humane treatment of prisoners of war at all times and protect them from any measures resulting in death or serious injury to their physical integrity.