Letters to MPs re: child detentions
Sample Letter #1
MP name (https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en/search for name of your MP and address incl email address)
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
I (We) am/are writing to ask that you support appointing a Special Envoy to monitor and report on the treatment of Palestinian children.
Palestinian children have the right to a safe and just future. We believe the Canadian government must use all available means to pressure relevant Israeli authorities to end the detention and abuse of Palestinian children.
Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that automatically and systematically prosecutes children in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections. Israel prosecutes an estimated 500 to 700 Palestinian children in military courts each year. Child detainees typically arrive to interrogation bound, blindfolded, frightened, and sleep deprived; and often give confessions after verbal abuse, threats, physical and psychological violence. Israeli military law provides no right to legal counsel during interrogation.
Three out of four Palestinian children experience some form of physical violence following arrest, according to evidence collected by Defense for Children International – Palestine.
Ill-treatment of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces in the West Bank has been widely documented. In 2013, UNICEF released a report titled Children in Israeli military detention: Observations and recommendations. The report concluded that “ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until the child’s prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing.
International juvenile justice standards, which Israel has obliged itself to implement by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1991, demand that children should only be deprived of their liberty as a measure of last resort, must not be unlawfully or arbitrarily detained, and must not be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Palestinian children have the right to a safe and just future.
To learn more about the detention of children in the West Bank, go to the website, No Way to Treat a Child (https://www.nwttac.canada.dci-palestine.org/)
Following are points that you can include in your correspondence to your MP.
Ask your MP to support appointing a Special Envoy to monitor and report on the treatment of Palestinian children.
If you need more info, click here for the website on No Way To Treat A Child. Good to include the website in your correspondence.
- Israeli military detention: business as usual despite pandemic
- 85 percent, said they were physically abused by Israeli forces during the course of their detention. Every child detainee had their hands bound; 68 percent had their legs shackled, and 91 percent were blindfolded, according to documentation collected by DCIP. (Defense for Children International Palestine)
- The majority of children, nearly 57 percent, were arrested from their homes at night, and 76 percent were not told why they were being detained.
- Israeli authorities imprisoned an average of 167 Palestinian children each month between January and September 2020,
- DCIP documented 27 cases where Israeli authorities held Palestinian children in isolation for interrogation purposes for two days or more, a practice that amounts to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. The longest period of isolation that DCIP documented in 2020 was 32
- Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system have no right to have a lawyer or a family member present during interrogations.
- Since 1967, Israel has operated two separate legal systems in the same territory. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlers are subject to the civilian and criminal legal system whereas Palestinians live under military law.
- No Israeli child comes into contact with the military courts.
- Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes approximately 700 children each year in military courts lacking fundamental fair trial rights.
- Palestinian children have the right to a safe and just future. We believe the Canadian government must use all available means to pressure relevant Israeli authorities to end the detention and abuse of Palestinian children.
- Instead of growing up with a law-based, negotiated settlement founded on universal human rights principles, justice, and respect for human dignity, Palestinian youth have had their futures stifled and suppressed by systemic discrimination, settlement expansion, and a military occupation with no end in sight where impunity is the norm.
- Children within the Israeli military detention system commonly report physical and verbal abuse from the moment of their arrest, and coercion and threats during interrogations. Under Israeli military law, Palestinian children have no right to a lawyer during interrogation.
- Ill-treatment of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank has been widely documented by UNICEF, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem, and Defense for Children International – Palestine.
- We need MPs to take action to ensure accountability and change.