Prisoners’ Rights Headline “Right to Education Week”
A workshop on administrative detention and education inside prisons was held on November 11 to kick off this year’s Right to Education Week. Head of the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association Addameer Sahar Francis and former detainee Esmat Mansour spoke at the workshop.
The series of events is part of the Right to Education Campaign, under the Birzeit University Public Relations Office. This year the activities are being held under the title, "The occupation of knowledge: education under occupation.”
Francis discussed how Palestinian students have been targeted by Israel’s occupation through military orders and addressed the systematic violations against prisoners and detainees, who are held in difficult conditions including solitary confinement, not allowed family visits, and denied the right to education.
Mansour described his long experience inside prison, speaking specifically about collective punishment used against the prisoners to destroy their feeling of individualism.In his more than 20 years in prison, Mansour said that he found it difficult to meet with other prisoners, discuss educational or cultural issues or even obtain books and stationery.
The workshop concluded by adopting several recommendations including: the need to rebuild national and human rights institutions to be able to face core issues, to work hard in support of prisoners’ issues, and to engage the media and educational institutions in dealing with prisoners’ concerns, most importantly their right to education.