- Title: WEST BANK: Mother of prisoner demands release of her son on prisoner's day
- Date: 20th April 2010
- Summary: JENIN, WEST BANK (APRIL 13, 2010) (REUTERS) AL-MAHROUM LOOKING AT HER GRANDCHILD PLAYING OUD CLOSE OF MAHROUM'S GRANDCHILD'S HAND WHILE PLAYING OUD CLOSE OF YUSRA / GRANDCHILD
- Embargoed: 5th May 2010 13:00
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Reuters ID: LVA8K3Y010MREBYY1Q6NDA02CJQ
- Story Text: Mothers of Palestinian prisoners protested in Nablus on Thursday (April 15) two days ahead of the official day for Palestinian prisoners.
In Jenin, Yusra -- the mother of Palestinian detainee Samer al-Mahroum -- says she is desperate to have her son back home after he has already spent more than 20 years of his life in an Israeli prison.
"Visits (to prisons) are trips where we are made to suffer. On the day of the visit we do not sleep because we wait to visit, they check, they stop us, check our bags, we don't get to the prison until we are exhausted. When we go to see our sons, we cannot sit with them or see them properly, it's all on the telephone and sometimes it's clear and sometimes it's not. The visit length is 45 minutes. We do not know how it all passes (so quickly), it's a pain," said the 70-year-old.
Her son Samer was arrested in 1986 after he was convicted of stabbing an Israeli settler in Jerusalem and also of membership to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Yusra hopes her son can soon be allowed to live a normal life and settle down.
"My hope now after all his brothers got married and had children, that Samer comes back home. His father died without seeing him, I hope I will see him in the house, and he will get married," she said.
Prisoners in Israeli jails are seen by many Palestinians as symbols of resistance to occupation. Anti-Israeli militant groups in the region have in the past succeeded in securing the release of hundreds of detainees in Israeli jails through prisoner exchange deals.
Some detainees in Israel have been on strike and have refused to meet visitors because of severe difficulties facing families from Gaza in visiting their detained relatives.
The Palestinian Ministry for Prisoner Affairs says some 7,500 Palestinians, including 310 children and 34 women, are being held in 30 Israeli prisons and detention centres.
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