President Abbas’ Notorious West Bank Prison

COMMENT

by Alan Simons

SimonsWith international media recently focused on the death of Arafat Jaradat, found dead in Israel’s Megiddo Prison, one has to wonder why this same media has been reluctant to report on the goings-on happening at Abbas’ Jericho Prison.

As Khaled Abu Toameh points out in his article Palestinians’ Double-Standards Exposed Again, published below, “But when Ayman Samara, a 40-year-old Palestinian man, died in the Palestinian Authority’s Jericho Prison a few days later, neither the UN nor the international media showed the slightest interest in his case. Many Jerusalem-based Western journalists chose to ignore the story of Samara. Some claimed they were too busy to cover the death of the Palestinian man in Jericho Prison; others admitted their editors were simply not interested in this story because it was an ‘internal Palestinian issue.'”

Samara’s suspicious death is not the first of questionable circumstances at Abbas’ Jericho Prison. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Official English website reported some years ago,

“Palestinian sources revealed that a young man from Ramallah died Monday evening in Jericho jail, which is run by Abbas’ PA, [allegedly] as a result of sever torture meted to him inside the jail. Shadi Muhammad Shahin, a Palestinian in his thirties from the Ramallah district died in Jericho jail, according to the sources. The PA police claimed that Shahin died as a result of illness and not under torture and that an autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of death. Reasons behind the detention of Shahin are not clear yet, but the PA police say that he was detained pending prosecution in a case brought by the attorney general in Jericho.It is, however, known that the Jericho jail is used mostly for detaining political prisoners and elements of the resistance from various resistance factions.

Here’s what Khaled Abu Toameh has to say:

Palestinians’ Double-Standards Exposed Again

Originally Published by Gatestone Institute

What is surprising — and disturbing — is that the UN, the international media and human rights groups are willing to be complicit in this effort to prevent the outside world from learning about what is going on in Palestinian prisons in the West Bank. Once again it has been proven that a story that reflects negatively on the Palestinian Authority leadership has no chance of finding its way to the international media. But a story that reflects negatively on Israel will always be welcomed by the international media, human rights organizations and the UN.

 Six days after Arafat Jaradat was found dead in Israel’s Megiddo Prison, another detainee died in a Palestinian Authority prison in Jericho.

 Jaradat’s death triggered widespread condemnations not only from Palestinians but also from international human rights organizations and the United Nations.

 “The United Nations expects an independent and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr Jaradat’s death, the results of which should be made public as soon as possible,” said Robert Serry, the UN Middle East peace envoy.

 Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, issued a statement also calling for an international investigation into the death of 30-year-old Jaradat.

“The death of a prisoner during interrogation is always a cause for concern, but in this case, when Israel has shown a pattern and practise of prisoner abuse, the need for outside, credible investigation is more urgent than ever,” Falk said in his statement.

The case of Jaradat has also won massive coverage in the international media, including BBC, Time, The Guardian and France 24. Even Jaradat’s funeral drew scores of journalists from all around the world.

But when Ayman Samara, a 40-year-old Palestinian man, died in the Palestinian Authority’s Jericho Prison a few days later, neither the UN nor the international media showed the slightest interest in his case.

Many Jerusalem-based Western journalists chose to ignore the story of Samara. Some claimed they were too busy to cover the death of the Palestinian man in Jericho Prison; others admitted their editors were simply not interested in this story because it was an “internal Palestinian issue.”

In a further sign of double-standards, the UN has not called for an international and independent inquiry into the death of the Palestinian man in Jericho Prison. Nor have international human rights organizations, whose representatives reacted differently to the death of Jaradat in Israeli custody.

The Palestinian Authority has actively prevented Palestinian journalists from covering the mysterious death of Samara. One Palestinian reporter, who was caught interviewing people outside Jericho Prison, was even detained for several hours by Palestinian Authority security officers.

That the Palestinian Authority has been trying to prevent the media from covering the death of a detainee in one of its prisons is not surprising.

What is surprising — and disturbing — is that the UN, the international media and human rights organizations are willing to be complicit in this effort to prevent the outside world from learning about what is going on in Palestinian prisons in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority obviously finds the story of Samara to be embarrassing, especially on the eve of US President Barack Obama’s visit to the region later this month.

The Palestinian Authority leadership would like Obama and the rest of the world to think that there are no human rights abuses in Palestinian prisons and that the only “bad guys” are the Israelis.

Once again, it has been proven that a story that reflects negatively on the Palestinian Authority leadership has no chance of finding its way to the international media.

At the same time, a story that reflects negatively on Israel will always be welcomed by representatives of the international media and human rights organizations, as well as the UN.

Check out all of our latest jewishinfoNews videos

 

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s