Middle East

4 Palestinian prisoners quarantined over virus fears

Families voice concerns as authorities bar them from meeting inmates amid pandemic

Salam Abu Sharar   | 28.09.2020
4 Palestinian prisoners quarantined over virus fears

RAMALLAH 

Four Palestinian prisoners were isolated in an Israeli cell last week after a nurse who did their medical checkups tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Damon Jail administration notified their lawyer, Taghreed Jahshan that the prisoners Layan Kayed, Shorouq Dweiat, Amani Hasheem and Ansam Shawahna are in a cell together at the women's prison.

"The details we have are limited since the administration does not provide us full information. But as the officers said the prisoners are in a precautionary quarantine until the result of the tests will be issued on Tuesday,” Jahshan told Anadolu Agency.

The prisoners are barred from meeting their relatives and lawyers since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The families of the four prisoners expressed their concerns at the communication blackout.

“Since the beginning of the year, Amani met her children just once last January. Then the meetings with her stopped, it’s just via the FM radio,” said her mother.

“The authorities suspended the visits to avoid the transmission of the virus to jails, but what we see is the virus may affect our daughters through the jailers who are in contact with them all the time inside the jail, which duplicates our concerns,” she added.

“The prison administration argued that the visits will cause infections inside, even if we met our daughters behind a glass wall, but the jailers are in direct contact with them,” she said.

The isolated prisoners' sentences range from 5 to 16 years.

Around 4,300 Palestinians, including 41 women and 160 minors, are currently held in Israeli prisons, according to Palestinian figures.

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