SPECIAL REPORT: Release Palestinian child prisoners, UN officials tell Israel

“While Israel has released hundreds of its own prisoners to control the spread of the COVID-19 disease in its overpopulated prisons, the same policy did not apply to Palestinian detainees. There are over 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, in addition to nearly 500 prisoners who are held without charge or trial.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in Israel, legal proceedings are on hold, almost all prison visits are cancelled, and children are denied in-person access to their families and their lawyers. This creates additional hardship, psychological suffering, and prevents the child from receiving the legal advice to which they are entitled. ” the joint statement also read.

“For children awaiting trial, these pressures could put them under increased pressure to incriminate themselves, pleading guilty to be released faster.”

Kia Ora Gaza

UN officials call on Israel to release Palestinian child prisoners due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Infographic: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff, 12 May 2020

Several United Nations officials called on Israel Monday to release Palestinian child prisoners currently held in Israeli prisons due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The call was made by the coordinator of UN’s humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians on the ground, Jamie McGoldrick, the head of the UN Human Rights Office in the West Bank, James Heenan, and UNICEF special representative, Genevieve Boutin.

“The rights of children to protection, safety, and wellbeing must be upheld at all times. In normal times, the arrest or detention of a child should be a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time,” the statement read.

“During a pandemic, States should pay increased attention to children’s protection needs and children’s rights, and the best interests…

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