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23.9.2014

HaMoked to the HCJ: instruct the state to immediately lift the ban on family visits to prisoners identified with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian liberation fronts

On June 15, 2014, following the discovery of the abduction of three Israeli youths (killed shortly after), Israel suspended all visits by family members from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) to prisoners held in Israel. On July 13, 2014, visits were resumed, but only partially: HaMoked learned that a punitive visit ban was imposed on prisoners identified with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian liberation fronts, preventing the prisoners from seeing their relatives.
 
HaMoked wrote to the State Attorney's Office several times, most recently on August 12, 2014, to demand that it act to have the discriminatory decision canceled. On September 23, 2014, as no pertinent response had arrived, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ).
 
In the petition, HaMoked stresses that the right to family visits in prisons is a basic right of both the prisoners and their family members; this right is enshrined in both Israeli and international law, and stems from the perception that every person is a social creature who lives as part of a family and a community. Imposing sanctions based on the inmates' political-ideological affiliation constitutes disproportionate, collective punishment, and serves no legitimate purpose. HaMoked also raises the concern that the visit ban serves Israel to turn the prisoners and their families into bargaining chips.

In view of the sustained infringement of basic rights of both these prisoners and their relatives, HaMoked requests the court to instruct the state to renew all family visits immediately and without exception.
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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