Israeli abuse ‘amounts to torture’ of imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti

israeli abuse 'amounts to torture' of imprisoned palestinian leader marwan barghouti

Israel has imprisoned Barghouti on five murder charges, while accusing him of directing attacks against civilians, which he denies.

Barghouti has an almost mythical status in Palestinian politics, seen as a figure whose ability to unite disparate factions has only grown during his 24 years in prison. The lights that flicker in his cell every evening are meant to make sleep almost impossible.

Marwan Barghouti spends his days in handcuffs with no way to heal his wounds. His shoulder was injured when he was dragged in handcuffs, and the books, newspapers and television he has had access to since last October have disappeared, along with his former cellmates. 

Barghouti visited his lawyer Egal Dotan in Israel’s Megiddo Prison two months ago and this is what he said: ‘Mentally he is a very strong person, but his physical condition is deteriorating, and you can see that. He has difficulty seeing out of his right eye, as a result of one of the assaults he suffered. ‘He has lost weight – he doesn’t look good. You wouldn’t recognise him if you compared his current appearance with his famous photos.’

Israeli forces have arrested more than 8,755 people in the past months, according to the Palestinian Prisoners and Liberators Authority. Most have been held under administrative detention, i.e. without charge.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported last month that the Shin Bet internal intelligence service complained to the attorney general that Yacoubi was chosen to improve conditions for Jewish Israelis imprisoned for terror offences, in contrast to the deteriorating conditions for Palestinian prisoners. Lawyers and prisoners’ rights groups also link the mistreatment of Palestinian detainees within the Israeli prison system to the far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who oversees the system and whose new acting director, Kobi Yacoubi, was chosen because of his hardline stance. 

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Dotan said: ‘This is a policy,’ referring to the changes to Palestinian prisoners: ‘This is a policy directed by Itamar Ben-Gvir. There is definitely a shift in this policy, but so far we haven’t seen any official document explaining this new policy.

Some say the appointment of an Israeli legal team to defend Barghouti has led to a slight improvement in his treatment.



Roshan Amiri is an advocate for the truth. He believes that it's important to speak out and fight for what's right, no matter what the cost. Amiri has dedicated his life to fighting for social justice and creating a better future for all.

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