HaMoked to Israel Prison Service: Minors from East Jerusalem are held in the "Russian Compound" under inappropriate incarceration conditions contrary to the law
On December 21, 2016, HaMoked wrote
to the Israel Prison Service (IPS) regarding the incarceration conditions in the Jerusalem detention center (the "Russian Compound") where minors from East Jerusalem are held.
Affidavits taken from 51 minors from East Jerusalem, who were held in custody in the "Russian Compound" during 2016, describe unreasonable incarceration conditions and a severe violation of minors' rights and breach of law:
Sanitation and Hygiene: Many of the detained minors from whom affidavits were taken, complained that toiletries were not provided to them as a result of which they were unable to maintain basic hygiene; that the cells were dirty and filthy; that the beddings which were provided in the detention house were often stinking and on occasions minors did not receive any beddings at all, and consequently had to spend the night with no blankets; and that despite of the facility's obligation to provide the minors with fresh clothes, this was not done.
Education: according to the regulations the IPS is obligated to apply the Mandatory Education Law to detained minors. Although the law applies to minors from East Jerusalem, many of them are held in the Jerusalem detention center for long periods of time without any educational setting according to the provisions of the law. HaMoked emphasizes that it is a brazen breach of the law.
Contact with family members: the law expressly provides that "a detained minor against whom an indictment has not yet been filed" is entitled to be visited by his immediate family members and to communicate with them by telephone. Said right, which is a right of primary importance, particularly when we are concerned with minors who undergo interrogations and are subjected to heavy physical and psychological pressure, is systematically violated. The minors held in the Jerusalem detention house are completely disconnected from their family members, as a result of which they suffer great psychological damage.
Jailers' treatment in the facility: testimonies of many minors indicate that jailers often treat the minors violently, beat them up, curse and insult them. In addition testimonies indicate that jailers impose strict and random punishments on the minors, including seclusion.
HaMoked emphasized that this case concerned a severe and unacceptable violation of minors' rights, protected by law, and that it was much more severe in view of the fact that the minors were held in the facility for long periods of time, which on many occasions exceeded a whole month. The testimonies clearly indicate that the facility is not suitable for the detention of minors for long periods of time, and that the conditions in which they were held violated their most fundamental and basic rights, their wellbeing and their physical and mental health.
At the same time, HaMoked called
for the intervention of the Attorney General in view of the systematic violation of the rights of minors, residents of East Jerusalem, while detained and interrogated.