Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Jo Cox friend of Palestine

The British Labor Party MP Jo Cox, who was brutally  killed last Thursday in broad daylight, on the streets of Birstall, a West Yorkshire village in her constituency on June 16th was a devoted compassionate friend of Palestine, refugees and immigrants,champion for the less fortunate; for the socially ostracised, for women; and for diversity.who dedicated her life to helping lives of people on the other side of the world, for human rights and advocated for the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. She often spoke against Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian children and called on Israel to end its practice of detaining young underage Palestinians. Mrs. Cox - whose 42nd birthday would have been today frequently advocated for the rights of Palestinians' to self determination and for enforcing international human right law to protect the rights of young Palestinian children -both in her charity work and as an MP.She said in February that moves by they that moves by the Conservative government to use legal threats to curtail the boycott of Israel were “a gross attack on democratic freedoms. It is our right to boycott unethical companies.”
Jo was a true humanitarian. Who used her own voice to give the voiceless a strong, powerful voice and used hers  to hold governments to their humanitarian obligations a huge loss, the Palestinian people have lost a true friend and defender of their rights.long may we remember her.
In the following link she speaks on the arrest detention and treatment of children in occupied Palestinian territories :-. 

"Parliament held an urgent and thought provoking debate this week about the way in which children are arrested, detained and treated in the occupied Palestinian territories, writes Jo Cox.
Westminster Hall, the overspill venue for backbenchers to hold debates when time pressures on the main Chamber won’t allow, was jammed with MPs keen to contribute and listen to what was a fascinating, deeply troubling discussion.
Israel is the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes children in military court and the differences between how Israeli children and Palestinian children are treated are stark. For example, an Israeli child subject to civil court proceedings has to have access to a lawyer within 48 hours. Yet a Palestinian child can be left without legal guidance for as long as 90 days. This, and many other disparities, underline the existence of a two tier justice system operating in the West Bank. One where Israeli children are subject to the rule of law; Palestinian children are not. This disparity of treatment, along with the estimate that 59,000 Palestinian children detained by the Israeli military since 1967 are likely to have been physically abused in one way or another, is deeply disturbing. It is also a clear and fundamental abuse of basic human rights and international law, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
There are a number of very worrying trends that impact upon these Palestinian children and during the debate I raised the issue that 65 per cent of children report being arrested in what are often ‘terrifying’ night raids by the Israeli military.
Night raids cause a huge amount of distress to children and their families. UNICEF have powerfully argued that “all arrests of children should be conducted during daylight, notwithstanding exceptional and grave situations.” A short lived Israeli pilot scheme, unconvincingly implemented, involved issuing summonses in place of night-time arrests. But these were increasingly served after midnight defeating the intended purpose.
Personal accounts provide an insight to what children are subjected to – they are often arrested in the middle of the night by armed soldiers, their hands are bound, they are blindfolded and taken away on the floor of a military vehicle. There are also reports of them being subjected to physical and verbal abuse throughout.
Another worrying trend is that almost three quarters of children detained report not being informed of their right to silence, the fundamental right afforded anyone arrested on suspicion of a crime. This is to stop the risk of self-incrimination, a particular concern for vulnerable children.  One case documented by the organisation Military Court Watch shockingly reported that a Palestinian child was told by one interrogator that he had the right to silence while a second told him he would be raped if he did not confess.
Thirdly, the issue of transferring detainees en masse from occupied territory is a very serious issue, and is, in fact, a war crime. Yet monthly data released by the Israeli Prison Service shows that almost half of the detained Palestinian children from the West Bank are transferred to prisons inside Israel.
This is a breach of the Geneva Convention. The added human impact is that these unlawful transfers mean families struggle to visit their children often over many months.
Estimates put the number of Palestinians detained since 1967 at 850,0000. Of these almost 100,000 are children. Between 500 and 700 children are prosecuted each year, with stone throwing the most common charge. This often brings with it a sentence of between 10 and 20 years.
And worst of all the number of children involved is increasing. As of last month the number of children in detention was up to 470 – over a 200% increase since last September.
These abuses have been going on for nearly 50 years. As my colleague Sarah Champion MP, who sponsored the debate, said – this situation requires decisive action to ensure we meet our international legal obligations."

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