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Palestinian journalist tortured in Israeli prison

PALESTINIAN journalism student Mays Abu Ghosh has been tortured in an Israeli jail, her family alleged today as human rights groups warn of systemic abuse of prisoners by authorities.

Her mother said Ms Abu Ghosh’s face was “full of bruises” and barely recognisable after 30 days of interrogation at the notorious Moscovia detention centre in Jerusalem.

“I could not hug her due to the pain hurting all of her body,” she explained.

Ms Abu Ghosh, who is studying at Bir Zeit University, has been held in prison since August 28 when she was detained along with five other young Palestinians.

She has been campaigning against the torture and treatment of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. 

In 2018, an article she wrote criticising US President Donald Trump’s cuts to aid for Palestinian refugees was published by Al Jazeera English.

Ms Abu Ghosh was born in the Qalandiya refugee camp, near Jerusalem. One of her brothers, Hussein, was killed by Israeli forces in 2016 and the family home was demolished. 

Her other brother Suleiman, who is just 17, is being held as a minor under administrative detention, without charge or trial.

In the article, she wrote: “The faith we inherited from our ancestors is strong and deep – we believe that it is possible for us to return to our lands. In fact, we believe that our return will come soon. After all, it is a basic human right.”

Her mother claimed that Israeli authorities took her and her husband into an investigation centre and used them as blackmail. 

“When we were there, the Israeli soldiers told Mays that we were detained, trying to put pressure on her in order to accept the claims made against her.”

The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association held a press conference last week highlighting systemic torture of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. 

The association alleged that 95 per cent of detained Palestinians are subjected to physical torture, with the majority, including Ms Abu Ghosh, held because of political, social and student activities including participation in demonstrations. Palestinian journalism student Mays Abu Ghosh

According to Addameer, Ms Abu Ghosh was forced into a number of stress positions during her interrogation, including the so-called “banana.”

They said torture and ill-treatment has become standard operating procedure against Palestinian detainees, with the perpetrators enjoying “absolute impunity.”

In an attempt to cover-up torture allegations, Israeli authorities hit Addameer with a gagging order in September, preventing the group from speaking out on a number of cases.

Ms Abu Ghosh will appear in a military court on January 7.

Ninety-nine per cent of arrested Palestinians are convicted of the charges against them.

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