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London Protest On International Childrens Day Demands Freedom For Palestinian Child Prisoners


inminds
24 November 2019



London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons



London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons


On 22nd November 2019, to commemorate International Children's Day, Inminds Human Rights Group held a vigil on the Southbank of the River Thames in London, to demand freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons.

Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "Israel systematically targets Palestinian children - abducts, tortures and cages them to terrorise Palestinian families into submission, into accepting an illegal brutal military occupation over their lands. Over 50,000 Palestinian children have been abducted by Israel since 1967. The abductions a year used to be in their hundreds - a decade ago two Palestinian children were abducted every day, but now its in the thousands, with 3,255 children abducted last year - thats one child every 3 hours - kidnapped, tortured and caged like an animal. Parents fear sending their children to school, with school children as young a 7 years old having been abducted on their way to school. We are here to demand an end to Israel's war on children."

THE PROTEST


The location was brilliant, with the recently opened Christmas market next to us, we were assured a steady flow of people even on a wet and miserable day. The protest was very well received by the public who seemed unaware of the existence of Palestinian child prisoners let alone their suffering in Israeli torture dens. Also the role of HP in the oppression of Palestinians was an eye opener for most people. Over 500 leaflets showing annotated diagrams of the children's cells in Israel's notorious Al Jalame dungeon were snapped up in no time, some asking if they could take a second copy for a friend. So many people wanted to shake our hands and thank us for this informative vigil.

A group who insisted they were not Israeli but boasted they had served in the IDF, did try to waste our time with direct quotes from the Israel lobby's hasbra manual.. "What about Hamas rockets.." one of them regurgitated whilst pointing at Gaza on our Nakba banner with its map of disappearing Palestine, totally ignoring the 70 years of ethnic cleansing the banner showed.



London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons



London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons



London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons



London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons



London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons



London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons








SPEECH


We are here today on the Southbank of the river Thames, in London, to commemorate World Children’s Day, which was this week, by highlighting the plight of Palestinian child prisoners caged in Israeli dungeons. World Children’s Day is the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration and the Convention of the Rights of the Child. Israel, which has ratified the convention, openly violates every single principle and article in that declaration and convention, in its treatment of Palestinian children.

Figures published in April 2019 show that the Israeli occupation has abducted more than 50,000 Palestinian children since 1967.

The annual rate of child detention was an average of 700 children between 2000 and 2010, but this rose to 1,250 children between 2011 and 2018, and last year in 2018 it shot up to 3,255 children.

That’s 3,255 Palestinian children abducted and caged by Israel last year – that’s one child taken from their family every 3 hours - shocking! Just imagine by the time we finish this protest and get home, another Palestinian child, as young as 12 years old, may have been abducted by Israel.

Just last Sunday, 17th November, Israel abducted 4 Palestinians, including 2 children from their homes in Silwan on the West Bank. They broke in to their homes at dawn, whilst the children were asleep, and ransacked their homes before dragging Ahmad and Jawad Hamed, both just 13 years old, from the arms of their parents in to the darkness, without any charge or warrant for their arrest.

What happens to these abducted children? Figures for Jerusalem show that 40% of the children were sexually abused by Israeli soldiers during arrest or interrogation. During interrogation 75% of Palestinian children detained by Israel are physically tortured. 55% are stripped naked and left there standing naked, shackled and blindfolded, for periods of time, to intimidate them. They are threatened with rape and castration.

The United Nations "Rights Of The Child" report documents the brutal torture of Palestinian children as standard practice during interrogations in order to coerce confessions, usually to stone throwing which carries a sentence of up to 20 years' imprisonment.

In the words of the United Nations Rights of the Child report 4th July 2013 children are “systematically subject to degrading treatment, and often to acts of torture.. physical and verbal violence, humiliation, painful restraints, hooding of the head and face in a sack, threatened with death, physical violence, and sexual assault against themselves or members of their family, restricted access to toilet, food and water. These crimes are perpetrated from the time of arrest, during transfer and interrogation, to obtain a confession but also on an arbitrary basis as testified by several Israeli soldiers as well as during pre-trial detention..” That was a direct quote from the United Nations Rights of the Child report 4th July 2013.

TORTURE


The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel states that over a 1000 complaints of torture have been submitted, many by young children, but not a single complaint has led to a criminal investigation, let alone a trial or a conviction. Israeli law has never criminalized torture and whilst Israel is a signatory to the UN Conventions Against Torture it insists that it doesn't apply to Palestinians.

United Nations funded “Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture for Occupied Palestinian Territory”, in 2014, treated 845 Palestinian victims of torture including 317 women and 135 children.

Women prisoners have been electrocuted into submission. 72 Palestinian prisoners have been tortured to death since 1967.

One such case was that of Palestinian father Arafat Jaradat, where even an Israeli doctor participated in the torture which led to his death. The torturer in his defence blamed the doctor for having OK'ed the final round of torture that Arafat's frail body after 5 days of intense torture could no longer take, resulting in his death. Prison doctors lied that Arafat has died of a heart attack but the autopsy, carried out outside the prison at the National Israeli Forensic Medicine Center, showed no sign of heart failure or any other illness, but revealed broken bones and found his whole body was covered in "strong and excessive bruising".. "under the skin inside the muscle and along the spine at the bottom of the neck deep inside the tissue". The autopsy determined the cause of death : "nervous shock as a result of extreme pain from the intensity of the injuries, which resulted from multiple direct and extensive acts of torture".

ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION


If a Palestinian prisoner survives the interrogation then they face the military court and its 'conveyor belt' trial system with its 'rubber stamp' 99.74% conviction rate. In no other country in the world is such injustice legalised into law.

In many cases even the formality of a charge let alone a trial or a set length of sentence are ignored - people are just locked up indefinitely on the whim of the occupation under what is called Administrative Detention.

Administrative Detention is a practice whereby Israel arbitrarily imprisons Palestinians, often children, without charge or trial indefinitely on rolling 6 month detention orders. It is often used to jail Palestinians when there is no evidence for a trial, or as punishment. Palestinian prisoners have described administrative detention as "mental slaughter" as there is no charge so no way for them to defend themselves; and there is no indication of how long they will be imprisoned. As they complete one 6 month detention order and get ready to leave the prison with their family waiting at the gates, another detention order may be issued - some prisoners have been on rolling administrative detention orders on and off for 11 years!

Since 2000 Israel has issued over 26,000 administrative detention orders against Palestinians. In May 2016 the United Nations Committee Against Torture demanded Israel end its practice of AD.

Today 540 Palestinians are held without charge or trial, indefinitely, under administrative detention orders. This includes several children.

Last month, in October 2019, two Palestinian teens, Nidal Amer and Hafez Zyoud, both from Jenin, were issued administrative detention orders. Nidal at the end of last year was issued a six month administrative detention order. Two days before the end of the six months, Israel renewed the administrative detention for another six month! Hafez was abducted in September and has now been given an initial four month administrative detention order. Both are currently caged in the childrens section of Megiddo prison. Nidal’s uncle Ahmed pleaded – “what has the child done to warrant being locked up without any legal case? If there is no charge then why is the child caged? If there is evidence against him for anything, then is should be presented in court.”

EVERY FAMILY..

Some 20% of the Palestinian population of men, women, children and the elderly have been imprisoned by the Israeli military since 1967, every single Palestinian family has been effected. The prisoners form the cornerstone of Palestinian society, their suffering is felt in every home.

These statistics of Israel’s systematic abduction, torture and caging of Palestinian children are shocking, but sometimes we need to put faces to the figures, to show how real children are affected. I want end by sharing a couple of examples of the arrest and detention of ordinary Palestinian children.

Asala Abu Ryyan

15 years old school girl Asala Abu Ryyan was with her cousin Manar when Israeli occupation forces started firing at the girls. The girls were injured with Asala being shot in the hand. The Red Cross ambulance taking the girls to hospital was stopped by Israeli soldiers at gunpoint. The soldiers entered ambulance and started beating the injured girls inside the ambulance before dragging them out. Asala's hijab was ripped off her head and her head was slammed against the jeep. The whole brutal episode was captured on video. Parts of the soldiers rifle, the sniper scope and stand, were later found in the ambulance, having broken off during the violent beating. The abducted girls were taken to the police station in the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba where they were tortured. They were hit on their heads and insulted and put in a freezing cold container which was open at the bottom.

This attack on a Red Cross ambulance was in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention and constitutes a war crime. The girls had committed no crime and weren't even accused of committing a crime, and yet they were tortured. Eventually in exchange for the rifle parts left in the ambulance the girls were released without charge.

Fawzi al-Juneidi

Due to his father’s injury and his mother’s terminal illness, 16 years old Fawzi al-Juneidi is the bread earner in his family. He sacrificed his education to support his family. Whilst he was shopping for groceries he was ambushed by over two dozen Israeli soldiers. He was severely beaten during arrest and tortured during interrogation. Photos of his arrest, blindfolded, disoriented, with torn jeans, surrounded by over 25 armed occupation troops wearing armour padding has gone viral. Almost every soldier who ambushed him, took turns to beat him with their rifle butts. He was so badly beaten one of his upper ribs moved 3cm out of place after repeatedly being struck with a rifle. The soldiers also dislocated his shoulder. His whole body was covered in bruises. The beating continued during interrogation, at one point he hide under the desk in the detention centre for cover, but they pulled him back up and continued to savagely beat him. They then threw him into a tub filled with cold water and took his shoes off and crushed his legs, trying to get him to confess to throwing a stone - a charge that carries a 20 year sentence. He was left bound on a concrete floor, denied medical treatment for 4 days until a judge ordered he be taken to hospital. Even in hospital the interrogation continued with the soldiers threatening him if he didn't confess. With his condition rapidly deteriorating, he was finally given bail 14 days later, on ransom of 10000 shekels. As soon as he was released he was rushed to hospital.

These were just a couple of examples of the thousands of Palestinian children that have suffered in Israeli dungeons, and the hundreds that are suffering today, right now, caged in Israeli dungeons, defenceless against their torturers.

Free the children!
Free Palestine!




London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons



London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons



London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons



London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons



London vigil commemorating International Children's Day demands freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons

RESOURCES




Placard design - 40% Palestinian child prisoners are sexually abused by Israeli soldiers (figures for Jerusalem, Nov 2014)



Placard design - 75% Palestinian child prisoners are physically tortured (Euro-Med Observer for Human Rights report 30th June 2014)



Placard design - One Palestinian child abducted every 3 hours ( 3,255 children in 2018 )



Placard design - 12 yrs old Palestinian children caged in 1m x 3m underground cells for months



Leaflet front - Free the children



Leaflet back - Israel's children's dungeon

GALLERY



Source: www.inminds.com


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