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Former inmate denied prison visits: the case of ND
documents: 0  |  Updates: 2 ND, a Jerusalem resident, is a former prisoner who was last arrested in 1994. His father was arrested in 1993, and then sentenced to life. Over the years, ND visited his father, imprisoned in Israel, without difficulties. In early December 2008, his father was transferred to the Gilboa prison and ND was denied entry to the prison for the first time, for being "a former prisoner".

HaMoked requested the Israel Prison Service (IPS) to lift the entry ban several times, but received no reply. After over seven months, during which ND could not visit his father, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) on his behalf, to remove the preclusion. HaMoked clarified that by not responding to the petitioner's request, the IPS contravened the prison regulations, which require visit requests by former prisoners be answered within 14 days of submission. The failure to respond infringes on the prisoners' and their families' rights to prison visits and to family life, guaranteed under international humanitarian law and Israeli law alike. On the day the petition was filed, the IPS notified ND's request to visit his father was approved.

In its response, the respondent requested to dismiss the petition out of hand on dual grounds – the preclusion against the petitioner had been removed, and his father could have filed a prisoner's petition to the District Court. HaMoked argued in response that the prisoner was not party to the petition, given that ND's visit ban was founded on an IPS regulation which related to his being a former prisoner. The preclusion having been removed, HaMoked requested to have the petition deleted, and filed a motion for costs. 

The court deleted the petition and ordered the respondent to pay HaMoked NIS 2,500 in legal fees.

HaMoked petitioned against the Israel Prison Service's policy of not responding to applications by former prisoners who seek to visit family members incarcerated in Israel: This policy is in contravention of both the Prisons Ordinance and the ruling of the HCJ
The HCJ ordered the deletion of a petition submitted by HaMoked and ACRI, which sought the cancellation of a sweeping regulation prohibiting former prisoners from visiting prison facilities, unless they receive approval from the IPS Commissioner: The deletion came after the IPS admitted, before the Court, that the wording of the regulation was indeed overly broad, and made certain changes to th... (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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