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Carter Center Expresses Concern Over Palestinian Prisoners

Contact: In Atlanta, Deborah Hakes,

ATLANTA...On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners' Day, April 17, The Carter Center expresses concern for the treatment of 4,750 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, which contravenes international law and human rights norms. The prisoners, 106 of whom have been detained more than 20 years, include democratically elected members of the Palestinian legislature, such as Marwan Barghouti, Ahmad Saadat, and Ahmad At-Toun, as well as 235 children. The fate of hunger striking prisoners is of special concern. Samer Issawi has been on hunger strike for some 270 days, and his health has gravely deteriorated. Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters have occurred over detainee issues. Should one of the strikers die, wider violence could erupt.

"The thousands of prisoners held by Israel are a persistent cause of resentment for the Palestinian people," said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. "Israel's treatment of Palestinian detainees should be consistent with its obligations under international law. Practices such as transferring prisoners out of the occupied territory, extended solitary confinement, torture and ill-treatment, and the use of 'administrative detention,' which allows prisoners to be held for extended periods without trial or charge, should end. Release of a significant number of prisoners could contribute to efforts to find peace between Israelis and Palestinians."


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