Ramallah, 7 March 2012 – Join Addameer and call for the immediate release of all female political prisoners and detainees from Israeli prisons on Women’s Day, 8 March 2012. As of March 2012, seven Palestinian women remain in Israel’s prisons and detention centers, including one woman, Hana Shalabi, currently held in administrative detention and on hunger strike for 21 days.
Over 10,000 Palestinian women have been arrested and detained since 1967 under Israeli military orders, which govern nearly every aspect of life in the occupied Palestinian territory. There were 36 Palestinian female prisoners in Israeli prisons prior to the exchange deal
concluded by the Israeli government and Hamas in October 2011. Hamas reported that Israel agreed to include all female political prisoners in the exchange deal. However, two women, Lina Jarbuni and Wurud Qassem, who have been in prison since before the first phase of releases on 18 October 2011, and an additional two women, Salwa Hassan and Alaa Jubeh, who were arrested before the second phase of releases on 18 December 2011, are still in Israeli detention.
Addameer aims to raise awareness about each of the seven women currently detained by Israel, two of whom were arrested just this week, in the hopes that continued international pressure will secure their release:
Lina Jarbuni was arrested on 18 April 2002 and sentenced to 17 years in Israeli prison. She is currently held in Hasharon Prison. She is from Arrabet al-Batoof, in the Galilee region. Lina is 36 years old.
Wurud Qassem was 20 years old when she was arrested on 4 October 2006. She was sentenced to 6 years in prison and is currently held in Damon Prison. Wurud is from Al-Tira, in the Triangle region, and is now 25 years old.
Salwa Hassan was arrested on 19 October 2011, and is currently in Hasharon prison awaiting trial. She is 53 years old and lives in Hebron. Salwa is married and has six children.
Alaa Jubeh was only 17 years old when she was arrested from her home in Hebron on 7 December 2011. She is currently detained in Hasharon prison and has not yet been sentenced. Under Israeli military orders, a Palestinian child’s sentence is decided on the basis of the child’s age at the time of sentencing, and not at the time when the alleged offense was committed. Therefore, because Alaa turned 18 on 29 January 2012, she will now be sentenced as an adult.
Hana Shalabi was re-arrested on 16 February 2012, less than four months after being released as part of the prisoner exchange deal on 18 October 2011. Hana had previously spent over two years in administrative detention. She received a six-month administrative detention order on 23 February 2012, which was reduced to four months on 4 March. Hana began an open hunger strike immediately after her arrest, and will enter her 22nd day without food on Women’s Day. She is currently detained in Hasharon Prison. Hana is from Burqin village, near Jenin, and is 30 years old.
Yusra Qaadan was arrested on 4 March 2012, while visiting a family member in prison. She is currently detained for interrogation in Beersheva. Yusra, 30 years old, is from Qalqilya. She is married and has four children.
Manal Suwan was arrested on 6 March 2012 and is currently under interrogation in Hasharon Prison. Manal, married and a mother of two, is 31 years old. She is from a village near Qalqilya.
Addameer reiterates its concern about the general conditions Palestinian female prisoners
and detainees face while in Israeli prisons, which has been carefully documented. Addameer condemns the cruel and discriminatory treatment that Palestinian women prisoners and detainees are subjected to in prison, including sexual harassment, psychological and physical punishment and humiliation, and a lack of gender-sensitive healthcare. These practices are in contravention to international law and must stop immediately.
There are crucial steps that can be taken by the Israeli authorities, particularly the Israeli military and the Israeli Prison Service, to fulfill their obligations under international law in respect to the detention conditions of Palestinian women and in protection of their human rights:
- End the systematic abuse of administrative detention and provide every female detainee and prisoner with access to the legal support she is entitled to under international humanitarian law;
- Provide female prisoners with detailed information on the length of their detention and the date of their release without undue delay;
- Ensure that prison and detention cells meet basic requirements of hygiene and health as required by the UN Minimum Standard Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners;
- Immediately bring to an end practices of sexual violence, including strip searches and invasive body searches and use of threats and/or other forms of sexual assault;
- Conduct proper independent and serious investigations into complaints of assault, and provide safeguards until proper investigation outcomes are reached;
- Allow visits of specialized doctors adequately trained to deliver health care in a prison environment, including mental health doctors, and ensure that hospital/doctor visits are allowed when requested;
- Allow open family visits and communication with family members via phone.
Here is how you can help these seven Palestinian women prisoners:
- Attend an event supporting Palestinian female prisoners on Women’s Day. Addameer would like to draw attention to various local actions supporting Hana Shalabi and women’s rights, including a demonstration at Qalandia checkpoint at 12:30pm, a march starting at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem at 2:00pm, and a protest in Haifa.
- Send a letter with the above statement and recommendations to:
Israeli Prison Service
Ministry of Public Security
P.O. Box 18182
Brigadier General Danny Efroni
Military Advocate General
6 David Elazar Street
Harkiya, Tel Aviv
Fax: +972 3 608 0366; +972 3 569 4526
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak
Ministry of Defense
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909
Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757
Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi
OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
Fax: +972 2 530 5741
Col. Eli Bar On
Legal Advisor of Judea and Samaria
PO Box 5
Beit El 90631
Fax: +972 2 9977326
- Write to your own elected representatives urging them to pressure Israel to release all Palestinian women prisoners.
- Send letters of support to the women in prison. If you wish to write letters to a detainee – please contact Addameer at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you with details.