עברית \\ العربية August 2012 Israel / Occupied Territories E-Newsletter
 
ICRC OFFICES IN MIDDLE EAST:
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ICRC'S WORK IN DETENTION
© ICRC // Gilad Kavalerchik

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) conducts yearly visits to some 10'000 people detained by Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. The aim of these visits is to assess treatment and conditions of detention. The findings are shared only with the detaining authorities. The ICRC carries out detention visits all over the world following the same working modalities.
All Palestinians detained by Israel are protected persons under article 4 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by Israel in 1951. The ICRC has carried out visits to Israeli places of detention since 1967. Visits to Palestinians held by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the de-facto authority in Gaza are based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the PLO in 1996.
This photo diary describes a visit by ICRC delegates to the Ramon detention centre in Israel.

+ Click here for a full photo gallery



+
The legal basis for visits
• Palestinians deprived of their liberty by Israel are protected under article 4 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by Israel in 1951. The ICRC has carried out visits in Israeli places of detention since 1967.
• All Palestinians held by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the authority in Gaza are visited by the ICRC since 1994. ICRC visits are based on a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the PLO in 1996.
• Foreigners, from States with no diplomatic relations with Israel, are protected under article 4 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
• Detainees from the occupied Golan are visited by the ICRC if they do not have Israeli citizenship and are detained in relation to the conflict.
• Palestinians with Israeli citizenship who are detained in relation to the conflict are visited by the ICRC on an ad hoc basis. 
Confidentiality
• "Key to the ICRC's work but not unconditional". Read an article on the website:
http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/confidentiality-interview-010608?opendocument.
 
© ICRC // � Gilad Kavalerchik
 
+
Visits to migrants
• The ICRC re-establishes family links for migrants via Red Cross Messages and via assistance (phone cards and cantina money with which they can call home).
• The ICRC's presence in most countries where these migrants are originally from, helps to retrieve ID documents for migrants who want to return home.
• The ICRC issues travel documents as a last resort in order to reunite families.
 Visits to minors
• IHL does not prohibit the detention of minors as such, and the minimum age set by Israeli military law and applicable in the Occupied Territory is 12.
• Whatever the reason for their detention, they are entitled to receive specific care and protection. They also have the right to communicate with their parents.
• The ICRC conducts frequent visits to detention centers where minors are held.
• The ICRC visits the families of minors who do not receive family visits, collects letters and takes photographs of the families, then delivers these items to the minors concerned.
 
© ICRC // � Gilad Kavalerchik
 
+
ICRC's position on administrative detention
• Administrative detainees are persons detained by the Israeli authorities on the basis of an executive, rather than a judicial decision and without criminal charges being brought against them.
• Administrative detention is not prohibited as such under international humanitarian law (IHL). However, it is an exceptional measure that may only be implemented when necessary for imperative reasons of security and only when the security needs cannot be met by less severe means.
• The ICRC visits all Palestinians held under administrative detention (around 300).
• The ICRC monitors treatment, conditions of detention and procedural safeguards provided under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
ICRC's position on solitary confinement
• Detainees held in solitary confinement are those held separately from other prisoners for punitive or preventative reasons.
• The ICRC has repeatedly reminded the Israeli authorities over the years that solitary confinement is in principle undesirable and should be avoided.
• The ICRC visits these detainees every two months in all the prisons to monitor their conditions and to ensure family links with their relatives.
• For detainees who don't receive family visits, the ICRC visits their families in the West Bank and Gaza to bring news from their detained relatives.

© ICRC // � Gilad Kavalerchik
 


 
© ICRC // Andrea & Magda
+ Families of Palestinian detainees between hope and fear
Thousands of Palestinian families living in the West Bank have relatives in Israeli places of detention. It is difficult to maintain direct contact between detainees and their families, leading to suffering and to problems within the families. The Israeli authorities suspended family visits during the hunger strike by Palestinian detainees between March and May 2012, causing a great deal of anxiety and concern for detainees and families alike.
For the past 45 years, the ICRC has enabled Palestinians to visit family members in Israeli places of detention. The organization applies for permits and provides transport to and from the prisons. ICRC delegates also convey oral greetings and written Red Cross messages to help families stay in touch.

+ Click here for more photos

© ICRC // Gilad Kavalerchik
+ Detention figures in Israel and the occupied territories:
Between January and the end of May 2012, the ICRC:
• visited some 2,000 people detained by the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and in Gaza, to assess their treatment and living conditions
• monitored the overall situation of some 8,500 Palestinian detainees in Israeli places of detention, paying particular attention to the treatment and conditions of detention to some 2,500 of them
• During the hunger strikes of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons (March-April 2012), the ICRC significantly increased the rhythm of its visits and followed closely the medical situation of approximately 2,000 detainees who were on hunger strike for over a month
• enabled 41,000 people from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to visit 4,000 detainees in Israeli places of detention
• collected some 2,200 Red Cross Messages (RCM) from detainees and distributed over 1,300 RCM to detainees
• made over 7,200 phone calls to families to inform them about the whereabouts of a detained relative
 



+ IL/OT Operational Update from January to End of May 2012
+ Gaza: ICRC facilitates first family visits for five years
+ Doctor Nikoloz Sadradze explains the ICRC's work during recent hunger strike in Israeli jails (audio)
+ Elpida Papachatzi, ICRC head of the protection department for Israel and the occupied territories, talks about Palestinian detainees who are in imminent danger of dying (May 2012) (video)
+ ICRC film: Detention, the humane way
+ More on ICRC's detention work
 
     



ICRC © International Committee of the Red Cross // August 2012 // Unsubscribe