Rights and protest in the Middle East
The press attache for the embassy of Israel claims Israel does not mistreat Palestinian child prisoners (Comment, 2 February). But he cannot refute reports of the mistreatment of teenage Palestinian prisoners (Special report, 23 January) or evidence presented by the international child rights organisation, Defence for Children International. Israeli and international human rights organisations, not only Palestinian ones, confirm that most child prisoners are detained for throwing stones. Others are accused of much more serious crimes, as the press attache says. But surely the right to a fair trial and not to be mistreated in jail should not depend on what it is that someone is accused of.
As for his reference to a "special juvenile court ... established to guarantee professional care for minors in detention", I have seen the reality first hand. An army court with children handcuffed together and kept in leg irons. I have raised what I have seen with the Israeli embassy. It says the shackling of Palestinian minors is in line with procedure. This mistreatment must stop.
Richard Burden MP
Lab, Birmingham Northfield
[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]