UN committee hears proposals on the issue of Palestinian political prisoners

4 April 2012

The head of a United Nations committee on Palestinian rights said today that it had heard the indignation of the world concerning the treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centres.

The chair of the General Assembly’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Abdou Salam Diallo, said that international law must be respected, noting that the committee had reaffirmed the right of Israel to live in security. Indiscriminate attacks against Israeli civilians must stop.

The Committee chair was speaking at the close of the International Meeting on the Question of Palestine, which aimed to raise awareness on the situation of Palestinian political prisoners and at mobilizing the international community to bring this issue to a solution by ensuring the prisoners’ release and reintegration into society.

International law must be respected, Mr. Diallo said in his remarks, adding that the Committee reaffirmed the right of Israel to live in security and attacks against Israeli civilians must cease.

He added that international initiatives at the diplomatic level, together with civil society organizations’ initiatives, would surely lead to improvement of the situation of Palestinian prisoners.

The two-day meeting in Geneva covered three thematic areas: the legal and humanitarian aspects of the arrests and detentions; the legal status of Palestinian prisoners under international law; and Palestinian political prisoners in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian political process.

Proposed measures to address the issue of Palestinian political prisoners included the use of existing remedial mechanisms, such as requesting the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the issue of prisoners of war status, and the adoption of a General Assembly resolution on the issue.


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