Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)

Newsletter August 2009

There are, at present, about 60 women political prisoners in the Israeli jails: about 35 in Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond), about 21 in Damoon Prison (Carmel Mountain), and the rest in several detention centers.

The prison authorities are preventing the women prisoners' families from handing over handicraft materials. In Hasharon Prison the prison authorities also prohibit the women political prisoners to give their families handicrafts that they have made.

Since more than eight months, the prison authorities have prohibited the women political prisoners' families from bringing shoes. The prisoners have to buy shoes in the canteen. In Damoon Prison there are no suitable shoes in the canteen, and in Hasharon Prison the price for shoes is much higher than in the West Bank.

Following Adalah's Petition, Israel Prison Service Reverses its Ban on Books in Prisons

Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond)

The conditions in the cells
The sewage system is not adequate, and in some cells there is sewage flooding. The cells are infested with vermin. It is very hot in the cells, and there are not enough fans.

Fatmah elZuq, from Gaza, mother of 9 children, was arrested on 20 May 2007. Her baby Yousef, 19 months old, has stayed with her since he was born. For over two months, the prison authorities have prohibited her to take her baby to meetings with lawyers, which means that she cannot meet any lawyers. WOFPP's lawyer, Taghreed Jahashan, has asked to abolish this decision and wrote in a letter to the commander of Hasharon Prison:
"The prisoners cannot take care of Fatma's baby when she goes to meet lawyers. Fatmah cannot leave the baby, and therefore her right to meet lawyers is violated. The prisoners' right to meet a lawyer is a basic right. More than that, it is a guarantee for respecting other rights of prisoners. It also functions as an external criticism about the conditions in prison; therefore, the prohibition of meeting lawyers prevents the prisoner from submitting appeals to court when rights are violated.
These things are more valid for a prisoner who has her baby staying with her. The baby is most vulnerable, so there is a top priority to fulfill the right of the baby's mother to meet with lawyers and to appeal to judicial authorities in case of need.
Fatmah elZuq is from Gaza strip, which means that her family is prohibited from visiting her, and she does not have any contact with persons outside of prison. Lately, the prison authorities have allowed her a phone call to her family but this is not a solution to her problem.
In light of the above, I request to enable the prisoner to go to lawyers' meetings with her baby…."
The prison commander ignored all the arguments in the letter and answered WOFPP's lawyer that the room in which the prisoners meet lawyers is small, and small places are not convenient for babies.
Taghreed asked again to abolish this decision and wrote in another letter:
"…I met Fatmah elZuq with her baby many times, and there were no problems with the baby. When the baby was tired, the meetings were shortened. The meeting room in Hasharon Prison is larger than in other prisons. The decision about the baby's convenience has to be his mother's, and it is reasonable to rely on the mother's decision."
The prison commander told her that the prohibition will not be changed.
On 16 August, WOFPP's lawyer, Taghreed Jahashan, submitted an appeal to the District Court in Tel Aviv.
Following the legal activity, the prison authorities allow Fatmah elZuq to take her baby to meetings with lawyers
The prison authorities still prohibit letting in toys for Fatmah's baby and do not provide special food suitable to his age.

Women under administrative detention
Majda Fadda, an administrative detainee from Nablus, a member of the Municipality Council, was arrested on 5 August 2008. The Israeli authorities extended her administrative detention for four additional months.
Siham elHih, an administrative detainee, 20 years old, from Surif, Hebron district, was arrested in March 2009. On 24 June 2009, the Israeli authorities extended her administrative detention for three additional months.
Rajaa elGhul, an administrative detainee, 39 years old, from Jenin Refugee Camp, was arrested on 31 March 2009. She suffers from heart disease but still does not receive adequate care in prison.

Kifah 'Afana, from Nablus, 22 years old, was arrested on 3 January 2009. On 2 July, she was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment

New prisoners
Abeer Odah, a former prisoner, from Tulkarem, was arrested on 9 July 2009.
'Aysha 'Abayat, a former prisoner, from Bethlehem, was arrested on 13 August 2009.

Released prisoners
Asmaa Batran, from Hebron district, 19 years old, was arrested on 13 January 2008 and released on 9 August 2009.
Su'ad Azrikat, 22 years old, from Hebron district, was arrested on 8 April 2008 and released on 7 July 2009.
Samah Samada, 15 years old, from Zelajun Refugee Camp, was arrested on 2 December 2008 and released on 27 July 2009.
'Abeer Daghara, 30 years old, from Kufur 'Ein, Ramallah district, mother of two, was arrested on 11 March 2009 and released on 16 July 2009.

Damoon Prison (Carmel Mountain)
The conditions in the cells
It is very hot in the cells, there are only two wall fans, and the prison authorities prevent the prisoners from buying more fans. The cells are infested with vermin.

The prisoners receive letters from abroad but they cannot answer because there are no stamps in the prison canteen.

Linan Abu Gholmeh from Bet Furiq, Nablus district, was arrested on 9 September 2004. The prison authorities still refuse her request to meet her imprisoned brother, a political prisoner in an Israeli jail. Her other brothers are prohibited from visiting the prison.

Rima Abu 'Aysha, from Nablus district, 22 years old, was arrested on 12 February 2009. On 20 July, she was sentenced to 9 months' imprisonment.
Jihad Abu Turki, 15.5 years old, On 13 July 2009, she was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment.

New prisoner
Najua Abed elGhani, 33 years old, from Sida, Tulkarem district, was arrested on 21 July 2009. She was brought to Kishon Detention Center (Jalameh) where she endured interrogations and was held in very harsh conditions: the cell was very narrow and dirty without any windows, the light was on 24 hours a day, and the food she received was disgusting. In August, she was transferred to Damoon Prison.

Released prisoners
Sanaa 'Amru, from Dura, Hebron district, was arrested on 6 October 2002 and released on 23 June 2009.
Khulud Mansur, 23 years old, from Kufur Qalil, was arrested on 17 February 2005 and released on 18 July 2009.
Shireen Swidan, from Qalqilya, was arrested on 7 June 2006 and released on 19 July 2009.

Petah Tikva Detention Center

Leila Taha, 24 years old, from Kafr Kana, Galilee, was arrested on 17 August 2009. She is forbidden to meet lawyers.

Kishon Detention Center (Jalameh)

Nasreen Abu Zina, 25 years old, a former prisoner, from Tulkarem, was arrested on 18 August 2009, brought to Hasharon prison and, on 19 August, was transferred to Kishon Detention Center (Jalameh). She has to endure interrogations and is held in isolation in very harsh conditions: the cell is very dirty, without any windows, it is very cold in the cell because of the air-conditioner, the light is on 24 hours a day. She does not have her own clothes because the prison authorities took them away, and she wears prison clothes only.

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