The prisoner exchange involving Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and 477 Palestinian prisoners highlights the need for the humane treatment of all detainees in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Amnesty International said today.
“This deal will bring relief to Gilad Shalit and his family after an ordeal that has lasted more than five years. Many Palestinian families will feel a similar sense of relief today when they are reunited with their relatives, many of whom have spent decades under harsh conditions in Israeli detention," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Director.
Cable TV, free college degrees, excellent medical care, smuggled cell phones...the horrors never stop.
Since 27 September, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have been on hunger strike in protest against recent punitive measures imposed by the Israeli authorities.Amnesty forgot to mention the whole chickens! I'm sure there is an international convention on the rights to have whole chickens! And unlimited satellite TV of terrorist channels, which is another demand.
Prisoners are demanding that the Israel Prison Service end the arbitrary isolation of prisoners and allow them regular family visits.
The fact that they are detained on Israeli territory makes it difficult, if not impossible for their families to visit them, as the Israeli authorities often refuse to grant them travel permits.
Since Amnesty is on record as saying that Gaza is "occupied" - against its own definition of the term - this means that Amnesty is insisting that Israel build prisons in Gaza itself! Will Hamas sign on for that?
Amnesty throws in another unwarranted dig at Israel:
Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from forcibly transferring or deporting people from an occupied territory. In the event that those prisoners being exiled abroad or transferred to Gaza from the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have not given their consent, Israel would be violating its obligations under international humanitarian law.But the terrorists and Hamas agreed to the deportations. One of them insisted today to go to Egypt instead of Gaza, out of fear that she would be killed in Gaza! In other words - they did give their consent, so this paragraph serves no purpose except for Amnesty to imply Israeli human rights violations with no evidence.
Not to mention - they are lying about Article 49 of the Geneva Conventions:
Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.The terrorists do not have all the privileges of Geneva's "protected persons." As the ICRC writes:
Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.
If civilians directly engage in hostilities, they are considered " unlawful " or " unprivileged " combatants or belligerents (the treaties of humanitarian law do not expressly contain these terms). They may be prosecuted under the domestic law of the detaining state for such action.
Unlawful combatants do not qualify for prisoner of war status. ....This protection is not the same as that afforded to lawful combatants. To the contrary, persons protected by the Fourth Convention and the relevant provisions of Protocol I may be prosecuted under domestic law for directly participating in hostilities. They may be interned for as long as they pose a serious security threat, and, while in detention, may under specific conditions be denied certain privileges under the Fourth Geneva Convention. They may also be prosecuted for war crimes and other crimes and sentenced to terms exceeding the length of the conflict, including the range of penalties provided for under domestic law.
But beyond that, Amnesty is not even entertaining the possibility that these terrorists remain a danger to Israel - something Geneva addresses!
Keep in mind that Amnesty never called for Shalit's release. Even though he was kidnapped specifically to be a hostage, even though his capture and captivity were completely against the Geneva Conventions - Amnesty did not think he deserved to be released unconditionally.
This is only the latest embarrassment to come out of Amnesty.
It banned Zionists from an Israel-bashing forum last night in London.
The Canadian government dismissed Amnesty's "stunt"at calling for George W. Bush to be arrested when he visits Canada, noting that they never demanded the same from Castro, Gorbachev or other despots who have set foot on Canadian soil.
(HRW, not to be outdone, mimicked Amnesty's call to Canada.)
That's Amnesty - an organization that fervently believes that Hamas terrorists should be treated with more deference than US presidents.
(h/t Anne, Brad, see also Omri)