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International Conference on Palestinian Prisoners in Geneva

International Conference on Palestinian Prisoners in Geneva
Under the slogan (working for justice), various European human rights organisations are preparing to hold the first international conference on the rights of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons. Tthe conference will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, March 11-12, 2011 in order to unite the efforts of many Palestinian and European members of parliament and human rights activists who work to support the Palestinian prisoners under one dome.

The conference will be organised by three Human rights organisations which are: Right for All (Droit Pour Tous), The European Network to Support the Rights of the Palestinian Prisoners (UFree) and North-South 21, these organisations are aiming to combine their efforts to work against the brutal actions against Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.

Director of The European Network to Support the Rights of Palestinian Prisoners (UFree), Mr. Mohammed Hamdan said (Palestinian prisoners live under cruel circumstances in Israeli prisons, they are going under illegal and inhumane punishment methods that are wrong on so many international and human levels).

The conference will be held on March 11-12, 2011. The first day will include round table discussions by the representatives of the Human Rights Council, while the second day will include five elaborated sessions that will cover the subject in details.

At the present, there are more than six thousand seven hundred (6,700) detainees in Israeli prisons distributed amongst more than
twenty locations. These prisons lack the minimum required standards that are defined by international treaties and agreements. Also due to the physical torture which prisoners are exposed to, many of them are suffering from dangerous and untreatable diseases that will eventually lead to their deaths.

Since the Israeli occupation of the rest of the Palestinian territories in 1967, Israel has detained more than seven hundred and
fifty thousand (750,000) Palestinians. This number includes dozens of women and children. Since al Aqsa uprising in 2000 more than seventy thousand (70,000) detainees were taken into custody by Israelis. These statistics include eight hundred and twenty (820) women and eight thousand (8,000) children.

Hamdan added that participants will highlight the harsh prison conditions, the types of physical torture detainees were exposed to
and the international stance on this subject, participants will conclude the conference by presenting their outcomes and
recommendations to keep the prisoners file open and discussed.

The first day will include round table discussions in the United Nations building, while the second day will include discussing various
aspects of the subject starting with the opening statements presented by the key speakers and the guests of honour. It will also touch upon the effect of imprisonment on the prisoners and their families, the personal experience of Palestinian prisoners in prisons and the legal and political dimensions of the imprisonment of Palestinians.

Speakers will also present live testimonies from freed prisoners, the effect of imprisonment on male and female prisoners and on their families. Taking into account the psychological and the physiological effects imprisonment has had on them.

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