Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)

Newsletter April 2006

There are about 120 women political prisoners at present in Israeli jails: in Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond) about 109, in Neve Tirza Prison (Ramle) six, and several more in detention centers.

Neve Tirza Prison (Ramle prison)

On 7 March Taghrid Gahshan, the lawyer of WOFPP, came to Neve Tirza for a visit that had been arranged beforehand as usual, but on arrival, before she had met any prisoners, she was told to come the next day. When arriving at the prison the next day, 8 March, she was told that she was forbidden to visit Neve Tirza Prison at all. On 10 April, (after Taghrid repeatedly called the prison authorities), these finally said that she was allowed to visit, but in actual fact she could not visit until 20 April.

‘Etaf 'Alyan, 42 years old, administrative detainee, from Ramallah, mother of a 16- months-old baby. After a hunger strike lasting 18 days, the prison authorities permitted her to have her baby with her in prison on condition that she and her baby remain in Neve Tirza, separated from the prisoners in Hasharon Prison.

The court session about Tali Fahima's appeals took place on 29 March 2006. She had appealed against her prison conditions and against the prohibition to meet Taghrid Gahshan, the lawyer of WOFPP. The prosecutor claimed that there was no reason for these appeals because, according to his knowledge, advocate Taghrid Gahshan was not prohibited from meeting Tali. The court decided that Taghrid is allowed to meet Tali, and finally, on 20 April, Taghrid did indeed visit Tali in prison. Tali also appealed against the fact that in the isolation cells there is no separation for the toilet.

Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond)

Family visits
According to the regulations of the prison authorities, the women prisoners can meet their children once every six months without the dividing partition. Nevertheless, the prison authorities insist that the women submit to a body search in the nude before and after these visits.
The women prisoners may receive visits from imprisoned first degree family members. But as these visits are also on condition that they submit to a body search in the nude before and after the visit, the women have decided to refuse to meet their family members under such conditions.

The library in the prison is quite inadequate for the needs of the prisoners. The prisoners may receive up to five books provided by the family, but for each newly brought book they have to return one. They may not have in their possession more than five books at a time. All the books have to be paperbacks. Books with hard covers are not accepted by the prison.

Many women wish to pass the matriculation exams. Following the years-long struggle for the right of participating in the matriculation exams, it seems that this year the prison authorities will allow every woman whose wish it is, to register for the examination.
The WOPFF lawyer has been informed by the legal advisor of the Prison Services that studies at the Open University are not a right but a privilege granted by the prison.

Manal Ghanim, 30 years old, mother of four, from Tulkarem Refugee Camp, was arrested on 16 April 2003. Her son Nour will stay with his mother until the next court session about his case, which will take place on 26 April 2006. The campaign to release Manal is continuing.

Faten Daraghma, from Ramallah, 31 years old, mother of 7 children, has to undergo surgery of the gall bladder. The prison authorities refuse to tell her the date of the surgery because of "security reasons".

Recently, the prison authorities have presented complaints against several prisoners for transgressions they have allegedly committed long ago during their imprisonment, and the court pronounced the following sentences, in addition to their original punishment:
'Aysha 'Abayat, 7 months, but there are more charges against her.
Iman Ghazawi, 2 months.
Sanaa 'Ama, 16 months, but there are more charges against her.
Rawya elShekh Khalil, one year.
There are additional women whose cases are still pending

New Prisoners:
Truat Hamdan, student at the University of elNajah in Nablus
Khitam Ichtya, student at the University of elNajah in Nablus.
Iat elSalti, student at the University of elNajah in Nablus.
Rasha Zbara, student at the University of elNajah in Nablus.
Zakya Nagar, from Burin.
Tahrir, held in separation.

Samar Sbih from Tulkarem, was arrested on 29 September 2005. She is in the ninth month of her pregnancy. In mid-March she was condemned to 28 months in prison.

Na'ama elNaqayra, 14 years old, from the Hebron region, was arrested on 2 June 2005 (her birthday). For two months she was kept in Beer Sheba Detention Center where she was the only woman. The district court of Beer Sheba decided to keep her in detention until the end of the legal procedures. She was moved to Hasharon Prison on 31 July. She was released in March 2006
Abeer 'Odeh, an administrative detainee imprisoned for 27 months, was released on 19 March 2006.
Raba'a Hamail, 20 years old, was released on 12 March 2006 after five years in prison.
Ghozlan Hagi, from Dura (Hebron district), was arrested on 20 June 2005 and was released at the beginning of April 2006.

On 8 March, the International Women Day:


WOFPP organized a demonstration in front of Hasharon Prison, protesting against the prison conditions and calling for the release of all political prisoners.

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