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Family visitations to the Ofer military detention facility: the case of SD
11198/02 | 11198/02 | documents: 4  |  Updates: 1 In May 2002, SD was arrested and held on remand at the Ofer military detention facility, which was then two months in operation. Prior to his arrest, SD received routine medical treatment for a mental health condition. After six months in detention, seeing no family other than his sister – at a distance during a court hearing – SD's mental condition was deteriorating. His mother's visitation requests, and those of other inmates' relatives, were refused repeatedly, as the military deprived all inmates of family visitations during the first nine months of the facility's operation.

HaMoked repeatedly contacted the State Attorney's Office, the prison commander, and other military officials, demanding to allow families to visit the prison. HaMoked argued that the denial of family visits was in grave violation of detainees' rights, protected by judicial decisions and international law. In December 2002, in the absence of an adequate response, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice on behalf of SD, two other inmates, and SD's mother, to order the military to arrange family visits. In its response, the State Attorney's Office informed that it did not object to such visits in principle, and that visits were to begin in February 2003.

In March 2003, the first visitation day was cut short, because the detainees refused to accept the conditions prison authorities provided for visits: the visiting area allowed no privacy; the height of partitions prevented prisoners and their children from seeing each other; visits were exceptionally short. Only in July, after conditions were improved, the visitations were resumed. However, SD's mother who filed a new visitation request through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was informed that she was banned from visiting on security grounds, while his sister, who constantly took care of her brother's affairs, was unable to so under the restrictive visitor qualifications established by the military. In October 2003, after HaMoked contacted the State Attorney's Office in the matter, the mother's preclusion was lifted and the sister's request approved. The petition was therefore deleted. In the following years, HaMoked continued to assist the family to renew their entry permits to Israel for the purpose of visiting prison.

Following the petition, the military gradually allowed family visits to prisoners held inside Israel, as part of an arrangement with the ICRC. This, after the suspension of visits, imposed in October 2000 at the outbreak of the second intifada.


HCJ 11198/02 - Diriya et al. v. Commander of the Ofer Military Detention Facility et al. Judgment
Judgment / Supreme Court  |  11198/02  |  1.10.2003
Judgment in HaMoked's petition on behalf of three detainees in the Ofer military detention facility, requesting to receive family visits. The court erases the petition with HaMoked's consent, reserving its right to re-petition on these issues as it deems proper.
HCJ 11198/02 - Diriya et al. v. Commander of the Ofer Military Detention Facility et al. Application to Attach Documents
Application  |  11198/02   |  15.4.2003
HaMoked's application to attach documents to the petition on behalf of three detainees in the Ofer military detention facility, requesting to receive family visits. The application is made after the state fails to keep its commitments to the court, and the detainees have still received no visits – now because of the manner in which visits are conducted and the eligibility criteria for participa...
HCJ 11198/02 - Diriya et al. v. Commander of the Ofer Military Detention Facility et al. Response on behalf of the State Attorney’s Office
Statement  |  11198/02   |  29.1.2003
Response by the State Attorney's Office to HaMoked's petition on behalf of three detainees in the Ofer military detention facility requesting to receive family visits. The state requests to dismiss the petition given that such visits are not precluded in principle, the facilities required for their actualization have been completed, and regular visits to the Ofer facility are likely to begin by...
HCJ 11198/02 - Diriya et al. v. Commander of the Ofer Military Detention Facility et al. Petition for Order Nisi
Petition to HCJ  |  11198/02  |  29.12.2002
HaMoked's petition on behalf of three detainees in the Ofer military detention facility. HaMoked demands the state be instructed to allow the petitioners to regularly receive family visits in their place of detention. The petitioners have had no family visits for nine consecutive months, contrary to the internee's right to visits, which is a constitutional basic right, deriving from the right t...
Updates
13.5.2007
HaMoked is petitioning the High Court of Justice (HCJ) to permit a Palestinian resident of the West Bank to visit his brother in prison without being forced each time to prove his family relationship: Despite the fact that the petitioner’s applications have been approved in the past, the information is not detailed on the computer system, and each time the military refuses to allow the brothers...
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