CEPR Delegation Visits Samer Issawi’s House

       West Bank, 21 Rabiul Akhir 1434/3 March 2013 (MINA) –  Under poor sanitary conditions of the prisoners on hunger strike, and the escalation of the policy of repression and abuse on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and that led to the death “the prisoner Arafat Jaradat”  last week, the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR)  and the committee of the  Families of  Jerusalemite  detainees and prisoners held press conference on Saturday, the 2nd of March 2013 in front of  house of  hunger striker prisoner Samer al-Issawi

       Samer Issawi who has been on hunger strike for Freedom since 223 days respectively, according to www.demotix.com reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Sunday.

       European Parliamentary Delegation, which included the British Parliament member and former minister Sir Gerald Kaufman, Scottish Parliament members Sandra White and Jim Hume, the Irish Parliament member Pat Sheehan (who performed a hunger strike in 1981 in the British jails for 55 consecutive days) and the Scottish politician Pauline McNeill, visited the family of the Palestinian hero Samer Issawi.

       After briefing the delegation on Samer’s health condition and the illegality of his detention, they were given a message to the British Parliament to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to release Samer Issawi and the Palestinian hunger-striking detainees immediately.

       A European political parliamentarian delegation is scheduled to arrive Friday to Occupied Jerusalem and Hebron in an attempt to visit the Palestinian hunger strikers in the Israeli jails and check up their health conditions, Palestinian sources .

        The director of the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) Dr. Arafat Shoukri stated that the delegation is a continuation of the efforts made by the CEPR over the past year to have the European Union (EU) and its member states intervene and stop the continued Israeli human rights violations against the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails.

       Dr Shoukri also said that the delegation met with the UK ambassador to Israel in Tel Aviv and will investigate the living conditions of the Palestinian prisoners in general and of those who are on a hunger strike in particular. ” The delegation will prepare a full report on the conditions of the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli occupation jails and the Israeli violations against them. They will later submit the report to specialized committees at the European Parliament.” Shoukri Added.

      The delegation includes a number of Parliamentarians from different European countries. Sir Gerald Kaufman, a British Parliament member and an ex minister, Sandra White and Jim Hume, members of the Scottish Parliament and Pat Sheehan, a member of the Irish Parliament and an ex hunger striker at the British jails, will be leading the delegation.

      There are 4750 Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails. 470 of them are from Gaza Strip and are sentenced to long-term imprisonment. The conditions of Israeli prisons do not meet with the minimum standards of human rights, which are stated in the international laws and conventions, especially the Geneva Fourth Convention.

        Shoukri also pointed out that the CEPR has worked lengthily to organize European delegations to Palestine in order to inform the European decision makers about the conditions of the Palestinian and Arab prisoners in the Israeli occupation jails.

        The itinerary of the European delegation, said Shoukri, includes visits to the families of the Palestinian prisoners Aiman Al-Sharawna and Samer Issawi who have been on a hunger strike for several months. In addition, the delegation will meet with a number of Palestinian children from Silwan area in Occupied Jerusalem where children continually get arrested and harshly treated by the Israeli occupation soldiers.

         Israel never publicly opens its prisons to political or parliamentarian or human rights bodies for this can expose its oppressive and discriminatory practices against the prisoners, which is a blatant violation to all international humanitarian laws and conventions. Shoukri added. (T/P02/E1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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