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Systematic Abuse Of Prisoners Persist

Systematic Abuse of Prisoners and Inhumane Conditions Persist in Detention Center

This morning Al-Haq spoke with four men released yesterday night from detention in the Ofer Military Camp near Ramallah. The four detainees are all between forty and fifty years old and are residents of Ramallah and Al Bireh. Two are sick from their time in detention, which was spent out in the cold with inadequate cover and food. They reported that yesterday they were taken onto a bus at around 12:00 pm and were then transported to the Kfar Saba Checkpoint near Qalqiliya in the north of the West Bank where they were released. When they protested that they were from Ramallah and demanded to know why they were transported from Ramallah to Qalqiliya before being released they received no answer. From the checkpoint they were forced to walk into Qalqiliya where local families have provided them with shelter. They are unable to return to Ramallah due to the tight travel restrictions now in place over the West Bank and due to the military siege over Ramallah. The following information was provided to Al-Haq by these four men and by others released earlier from Ofer.

They stated that the detention area in Ofer is divided into four sections that each house approximately 250 men. Upon arrival in the camp all personal belongings including money, mobile phones, keys, wallets, etc. are taken from detainees. These items are often not returned upon release. Prisoners ID cards are also taken from men when they are detained. Over the past weeks Al-Haq has received reports that a large number of detainees have not had their ID's returned to them upon their release, making it practically impossible for them to travel and leaving them at risk of being rearrested for not having an ID card.

Ends

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