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Denial of prisoner visitation: the case of SB
documents: 0  |  Updates: 3 The husband of SB, a resident of Ramallah, was arrested in 2003, and sentenced to nine life terms plus thirty years. Their son was born after the arrest, and so the two had never met. In January 2005, SB applied to the military through the International Committee of the Red Cross, for permission to visit her husband in prison. She received no reply for the next 32 months. As were HaMoked's applications to the State Attorney's Office in the matter. In September 2007, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice demanding the visit be arranged or its denial justified. The petition, inter alia, raised claims against the military's outrageous conduct, which provided no reply to SB's and HaMoked's applications for over two and a half years, despite the state's undertaking, given in the Fataftah case, to respond within 8 to 10 weeks to Palestinian residents' applications for visits to their relatives in prisons inside Israel.

In the hearing of November 2007, the court ruled that SB's application would be again considered in three to four years time only, based on classified security reasons, determining that, nonetheless, nothing prevented the child from visiting his father in the company of someone who was not under a security injunction. The justices also ordered the state to examine the delays in response and submit a suitable notice to the court. As part of its response – which was itself delayed – the state announced it was unable to address this aspect of the petition, as past work methods made it impossible to trace the submission date of the application. The state further added that a new operating procedure, which includes digitalization, was expected to improve the handling of requests.

In its judgment, rendered in May 2009, the court endorsed the state's position and dismissed the petition, instructing, however, that the manner of implementation of the new procedure for handling prison visitation requests should be periodically monitored.

In November 2010, after seven years of separation, SB visited her husband in prison.


Updates
25.10.2012
HaMoked to the Court: Instruct the military to allow a Palestinian woman to visit her husband who is incarcerated in an Israeli prison
14.6.2009
State pledges before HCJ to process Palestinians' applications for visitation permits for prisons in Israel within two and a half months: the undertaking was given following HaMoked's petition against the military's foot-dragging in the processing of applications
24.2.2008
After the expiry of the sixty-day period set by the court, at the state’s request, for the state to file its response in HaMoked’s petition regarding the authorities’ failure to respond to requests, HaMoked has now filed an application for an order nisi: Surprisingly, the High Court of Justice (HCJ) asked to receive the state’s response “as soon as possible,” without setting any date and withou...
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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