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Right to Education

Palestinians in Israeli prisons hunger strike for right to take secondary exams

Written by admin  •  Tuesday, 02.06.2009, 13:38

The Center for Prisoners Studies has warned of a new guideline in Israeli prisons that threatens to prevent Palestinian political prisoners from taking their general secondary examinations.

The Center confirmed today that the security clearance Palestinians must first receive is likely to be granted after a series of actions such as hunger strikes demanding the right to education under detention.

The advancement of education was not something that had been allowed for Palestinians by the Israeli prisons administration. The latest victory is in regards to the general secondary exams, but recently a young West Bank man was able to graduate with a BA in journalism.

The Center for Prisoners Studies went on to state that during this past year the management of the Israeli Prison Service has put more obstacles in the way of Palestinians who do apply to take their general secondary examinations.

These obstacles are especially harsh and include the prison administration preventing them from access to quality books for study. The administration also does not allow for a decent atmosphere for the examinations.

The study released today describes the Israeli prison administration as taking pleasure in creating chaotic situations to disrupt exams. These include moving the dates, agitating the prisoners as they move between the different exam sections, and sometimes preventing them from entering or exiting the room to take their exams under the pretext of security.

Palestinians have appealed to the Center for Prisoners Studies and the Deputy Secretary of State for prisoners issues, as well as to human rights organizations such as the Red Cross. They requested an investigation into the threats of the prison administration in order to ensure that they will not miss the opportunity to take the exams. They also appealed for observers to come and make certain that an appropriate atmosphere is kept during the exams. The importance of exams must be respected, the Center reported today, as these exams will allow them to resume university studies after their release.

Political prisoners also called on various institutions dealing with human rights, especially those which are active in prisoners’ rights, to put pressure on the management of the Israeli prison service. They want them to conduct the exams in a timely manner without obstruction, and to implement these guidelines for prisoners in the future.

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