USA, Chicago: Candlelight Vigil for Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli Detention

Over 6,830 Palestinian prisoners, including at least 340 children and many women are currently being held in Israeli detention. They are subjected to torture and the conditions in which they are held does not conform with international law. Join us as we hold a silent candlelight vigil for these prisoners. Please bring placards, candles, flags, and pamphlets to raise awareness. 
This event is concurrent with a Zionist vigil for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit which is being held in the same Plaza, so it is imperative that you all come out to show your support for Palestinian prisoners, whose plight is often ignored.

Endorsed by:

--Students for Justice in
Palestine, De Paul Chapter
--Students for Justice in
Palestine, Northeastern Illinois University Chapter
--Palestine Solidarity Group

Some brief information on Palestinian Child Prisoners

Since the beginning of this Intifada in September 2000, over 2500 children have been arrested. Currently there are at least 340 Palestinian children being held in Israeli Prisons.

According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted on 20 November 1989 and entered into force on 2 September1990 (to which Israel is a signatory), and to relevant Israeli law, a child is defined as every human being under the age of 18 years. This is reiterated in the UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their
Liberty, adopted by General Assembly Resolution 45/113 of 14 December 1990. However, Palestinian children from the age of 16 years are considered adults under Israeli military regulations governing the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

As is the case with adult prisoners, child detainees are transferred to prisons located within
Israel. The primary prisons in which Palestinian child male detainees are held are Hasharon (Telmond), near Netanya, and Megiddo, near Haifa. Girl child prisoners are transferred to Neve Tertza Prison (Ramleh). Interrogation of child detainees takes place at Beit El and Huwarra Interrogation Centers, and occasionally other interrogation centers, and Palestinian child administrative detainees are held with adult administrative detainees at both Ofer and Negev Military Prison Camps. Palestinian children are primarily arrested at Israeli military checkpoints, from their homes, or from the street.

Arrests from Military Checkpoints
Palestinian children arrested from Israeli military checkpoints are often made to wait for hours at the checkpoint, with their hands cuffed, before they are transferred to detention and interrogation centers. More often than not, Palestinian child detainees are subject to beatings, curses and threats during the transfer. In most cases, their families are not informed of their arrest, with child prisoners additionally being transferred from one prison to another without informing the family. As a result, it often takes some time before a child detainee is located and the family informed of his/her location.

Arrests from Home
Arrests of Palestinian children often happen in the middle of the night from the child’s home, with tens of soldiers surrounding the house and then raiding it. Soldiers usually do not have a warrant for arrest or searches. The entire house is searched, often ransacked and personal property destroyed, occupants humiliated and harassed. 

Palestinian child prisoners are held in inhumane conditions of detention, made to live in overcrowded and filthy cells. Often, children are placed in small solitary confinement cells, measuring 1.5 square meters, that are extremely humid and have no windows for natural light, or with bright artificial light that is continuously kept on. This forces prisoners to remain awake at all times, depriving the prisoner of sleep for days in some cases. Prisoners do not receive sufficient food to meet the daily nutrition requirements for children, are prevented from going to the toilet at their will, and are not allowed a change of clothing.

Thursday, June 24, 2010
8:00pm - 10:00pm
Federal Plaza, 50 W Adams (Dearborn) , Chicago, IL