UN urges protection of Palestinian detainees from coronavirus infection
RAMALLAH, April 17, 2020 (WAFA) — The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that he asked the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, to remain in contact with Israeli officials to ensure the protection of the Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
In a letter to the Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, Guterres pointed out to ways of protecting the detainees, including reducing the number of detainees to improve public health conditions, reducing overcrowding in prisons and maintaining restrictions on family visitation and healthcare visits.
Guterres also stressed the need to conduct the COVID-19 (coronavirus) tests to the sick prisoners and to keep them away from other prisoners, since they are highly vulnerabile to the risk of infection.
Guterres’s letter was in response to a letter sent by Erekat on March 30 in which he urged world leaders to pressure Israel, the occupying power, to protect the Palestinian detainees in its prisons and to release those who are highly vulnerable to the novel virus, including old people, women and sick prisoners.