Friday, November 7, 2008

Israel: Child Right Violation is spreading and alarming

Israel: Child Right Violation is spreading and alarming

Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi/Shabana Khan 7/11/2008 5:43:55 PM(IST)

On 4-5 June 2008 night Israel soldier arrest Salwa Salah and her cousin Sara Siureh from their homes in Bethlehem, in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Salwa Salah and her cousin Sara Siureh, age 16 and who turn 17 to this month.

The Israeli military commander placed them under administrative detention for four months without charge or trial, and without any arrangements in place to bring them to trial. On 5 October their administrative detention orders expired but were extended for a further three months until 3 January 2009. The Israeli army claims that Salwa and Sara were involved in activities which constitute a "security threat" but has provided no evidence to substantiate the allegations, thereby denying them the possibility of challenging the allegations before a court of law.

Both Sara and Salwa are detained in Damoun prison, in the north of Israel, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which stipulates that Palestinian detainees must be held within the Occupied Palestinian Territories and not in Israel.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1989, by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 44/25. The Convention entered into force in Israel in November 1991, but as with most other international conventions and treaties, Israel denies its applicability to the Palestinian territory.

Palestinian children are not protected by the legal and procedural safeguards that apply to Israeli children (under the age of 18) and are instead subject to Israeli military orders and procedures which do not comply with the UN Convention on the Right of the Child, to which Israel is a party. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has expressed concern that Israeli legislation discriminates between Israeli and Palestinian children.

They are among some 275 Palestinian children detained in Israeli jails, 13 of them detained administratively, without charge or trial. Administrative detention orders are issued by Israeli military commanders for terms of up to six months, which can be renewed indefinitely. Indeed, in 2007 alone, hundreds of Palestinian children have been arrested and detained, and around 340 are still currently imprisoned. Most of them are held inside Israel, in contravention of international humanitarian law. Furthermore, the Israeli military routinely resorts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment amounting to torture when dealing with Palestinian children during arrest, interrogation and detention procedures.

Since the start of its occupation of the Palestinian territory in 1967, Israel has carried out policies and practices that have continuously violated Palestinian children'''s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. These violations did not cease with Israel's ratification of the Convention in 1991. On the contrary, they escalated and reached unprecedented levels during the second Intifada . Between 1991 and September 2000 (period preceding the second Intifada ) 249 Palestinian children were killed as a result of Israeli military activity in the occupied territory, and since the start of the second Intifada (September 2000) 899 Palestinian children were killed by Israeli military activity.

These violations demonstrate that other States Parties to the UNCRC have failed to take measures, according to their individual and collective responsibility under the Convention, to place pressure on a State Party violating the Convention.

People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) is sturdily criticizing the arrest of these two girls and detention of other children in Israel prison. PVCHR also appeal please write letter to Shimon Peres President of the State of Israel, calling for the release of Salwa Salah and Sara Siureh unless they are charged with recognizable criminal offences and are promptly brought to justice in full compliance with international human rights standards ratified by Israel.

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