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Human Rights Law Centre

Calls Grow for Prisoner-Hostage Exchange as Israel’s War on Gaza Escalates

Dr Hedi Viterbo's social media posts about Palestinian prisoners were cited in an article from Truthout.

A black and white photo of prison cell bars

The Israeli government is under increasing pressure to negotiate the release of more than 200 Israelis held captive by Hamas in exchange for thousands of Palestinians caged in Israeli jails and prisons.

Dr Hedi Viterbo, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Law at Queen Mary University of London, drew attention to the situation of Palestinian prisoners in a thread on X (formerly Twitter), that has since received more than 1.8 million views.

In the thread quoted in Truthout, he highlights the issue of 'administrative detention', where thousands of prisoners are being held with no charge or trial for 6 months, with indefinite extensions. He says: “Without a fixed prison sentence, these Palestinians can’t anticipate their release from prison and plan their lives accordingly”. He continues: “They’re kept in a stressful cycle of hope toward each judicial review, and despair following continued incarceration.”

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