Sunday, March 25, 2012

Soldiers Attack Detainees, Conduct Forced DNA Tests

by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News 
The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees reported Saturday that Palestinian political prisoners in Nafha, Majiddo, Galboa’, and Ramon Israeli prisons, returned their meals on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning, in protest to forced DNA tests conducted on them by, under gunpoint, the Israeli soldiers.
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The Ministry said that the soldiers broke into the detainees’ rooms, and took them one by one to small cells where they were tied to chairs, and DNA samples were forcefully extracted from them.

Detainee Jamal Rajoub, representative of the detainees in Ramon Prison, stated that the tests were conducted in a forceful and degrading manner while the soldiers extracted the follicles form different parts of the detainees’ bodies, sometimes from the belly-button, and other times from their chests, armpits or heads.

Rajoub added that the detainees never consented to these tests, including DNA tests, and refused to sign documents that the army tried to force on them.

He added that soldiers of the “Dror” Brigade attacked and beat several detainees who objected to the illegal tests. Some of the detainees were identified as Bilal Jouda from Nablus, Saed Hasan from Ramallah, Sameh Abu Sneina from Hebron, and Amer Abu Ramouz From Hebron.

The attacked detainees were cuffed and dragged on the ground to smaller cells where DNA samples were extracted from them by force, and the detainees were kept in the cells after the DNA samples were taken.

In Majiddo Prison, Israeli soldiers attacked ten Palestinian detainees while trying to extract DNA samples from them; one of the detainees, identified as Bashar Ersheed was seriously injured, the Maan News Agency reported.

15 detainees were injured in Galboa’, Shatta and Nafha prisons after also being beaten and attacked while the soldiers extracted DNA samples from them.

Maan said that detainees Moammar As-Sabbah, from the northern West Bank city of Jenin, serving a 23-year sentence at the Shatta prison, stated that more than 100 soldiers in riot gear broke into the prison and forcibly extracted DNA samples from the detainees after handcuffing them; the samples were taken by extracting hair follicles from some detainees and by cheek swab from other detainees.

Detainee Tareq Rashad, from Nablus, serving a life term at the Galboa prison, stated that the detainees filed 120 complaints against the forced DNA tests, and stated that the samples were extracted forcefully, and under gunpoint.

The Ministry of Detainees filed an appeal to the Israeli High Court demanding it to discard all collected DNA samples as they were extracted in an illegal manner, adding that Israel has no right to conduct these tests and experiments on the Palestinian detainees as they are prisoners of war, and such tests violates their internationally guaranteed rights, in addition to violating all medical ethics.
 International Middle East Media Center