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Following HaMoked’s intervention: the IPS decided to revoke a directive that allowed banning a visitor from entering prison indefinably

The right to family visits in incarceration facilities is a basic right of both the inmates and their families. Preventing families from visiting their incarcerated loved ones is a severe violation of the basic right to family life of the inmates and their families alike.

On April 15, 2015, HaMoked contacted the Israel Prison Service [ISA] about the banning of Palestinian visitors from entry to prisons, after it received repeated complaints from Palestinian families that the IPS had banned them from visiting their loved ones imprisoned inside Israel. Evidently, the head of a prison may ban the entry of an individual to prison for several of reasons listed in the prison regulations. However, HaMoked claimed, exercising this authority was problematic, given the option of banning a visitor’s entry “indefinitely”.

HaMoked stressed that giving unlimited authority to a public official was improper and completely unreasonable. HaMoked maintained that before deciding on a prison-visit application, IPS officials should weigh various parameters, such as the degree of relatedness between the prospective visitor and the inmate, the grounds for seeking to ban the visitor’s entry and so on.

Therefore, HaMoked asked that the entry-ban form be revised, and the directive allowing to impose an indefinite ban on a visitor be revoked.

After several reminders by HaMoked were left unanswered, on November 3, 2015, it received a letter from the IPS’s legal advisor, accepting HaMoked’s request, “for the removal of the directive that allows banning the entry of a person to prison for unlimited duration”. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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