|Iran writes to UN sec gen on plight of Palestinians held by Israel||
TEHRAN – In a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, Iranian Ambassador to the UN Mohammad Khazaee has underscored the urgent need for international efforts to address the plight of Palestinian prisoners and detainees unlawfully held by Israel.
Iran assumed the rotating presidency of NAM for a three-year term on August 30, 2012.
Following is the text of the letter dated February 28, 2013:
I write to you, in my capacity as Chair of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to convey the Movement’s grave concern regarding the critical situation of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners and detainees, including children and women, which are being unlawfully held by Israel, the occupying Power, in prisons and detention centers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel.
While the Movement expresses its deep appreciation for the principled statements and positions you have affirmed, including through your Special Representative, Mr. Robert Serry, on this critical issue, we underscore the urgent need at this time for international attention and efforts to address the plight of Palestinian prisoners and detainees. We emphasize in this regard the urgency of attention to recent crises, which have raised tensions and are causing further instability in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
The NAM stresses its grave concern in particular about the recent death of a Palestinian man, Arafat Jaradat, in an Israeli prison on 23 February 2013, following his arrest on 18 February by the Israeli occupying forces, and about the circumstances surrounding his detention and death, including reports of his subjugation to forced interrogations and beatings. Echoing the call made by your Special Representative, the Movement calls for an independent, impartial and transparent investigation into this serious incident as soon as possible and for the release of the investigation’s results under United Nations auspices. The Movement would be grateful for your efforts to facilitate this important matter and to contribute to diffusing the tense situation, which risks further destabilization with far-reaching consequences.
In this connection, the Movement also conveys its deep concerns regarding the plight of several Palestinian prisoners and detainees who are undertaking long-term hunger strikes in peaceful, nonviolent protests of their detention by Israel without charge or trial and other abuses and oppressive measures violating their most fundamental human rights. The lives of at least four men on hunger strike are in imminent danger due to their deteriorating health conditions. NAM calls for immediate attention to this crisis and for an urgent, humane solution to their plight in accordance with international legal standards and principles. Furthermore, the Movement reiterates its demand upon Israel to release all Palestinian prisoners and detainees and to cease forthwith its arbitrary arrest and detention of Palestinian civilians.
It must be reaffirmed that Israel has specific obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, towards the Palestinian prisoners and detainees in its incarceration as well as towards the entire Palestinian civilian population under its military occupation. We thus urge Your Excellency to use your good offices and the moral authority with which you speak on behalf of the United Nations, consistent with the purposes and principles of its Charter, relevant resolutions and international law, to compel Israel, the occupying Power, to respect its legal obligations in this regard. A clear message must be conveyed to Israel that it will be held accountable by the international community for its violations of international law.
Moreover, the NAM stresses the necessity of ensuring the requisite assistance to Palestinian prisoners and their families, including for the reintegration of prisoners into their communities, particularly in light of the devastating impact this issue has had on Palestinian society as a whole. We express our appreciation in this regard for the efforts of the United Nations agencies on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
In parallel with the actions that you and your Special Representative are taking, the Movement believes that all other UN bodies, especially the Security Council and Human Rights Council, should live up to the expectations of the international community and fulfill their responsibilities, in accordance with purposes and principles of the UN Charter, relevant resolutions and international law, in respect to the plight of the prisoners and detainees that are unlawfully held by the Israel, the occupying Power.
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