Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)

Newsletter December 2017

In HaSharon Prison there are 33 women political prisoners and detainees, including nine minors. In Damon Prison there are 21 women political prisoners and detainees.

The women prisoners in HaSharon and Damon prisons represent a wide spectrum of Palestinian society: various ages, personal statuses (there are married women, mothers, single women, minors), different backgrounds of education and employment (some women are housewives, some are students, some academics), as well as political affiliations.

Medical Treatments

Recently we have witnessed a significant reduction in the provision of vital medical treatments - both inside and outside prison. Prisoners who are seriously injured while being arrested and who received medical treatment in hospitals, and are supposed to receive further medical treatment in detention do not receive it. Some poignant examples: Isra’a Ja’abis was severely burnt while being arrested - she was supposed to have surgery as a continuation of treatment. Though given several possible dates, she is still waiting for the promised operation. As far as we presently know there is an approximate date for the operation in February 2018. We will follow up. Abla al-'Adam, who was seriously injured in the head during her arrest, is also still waiting for the promised head surgeries to continue, but lately the tendency is apparently not to continue with the treatments. Other women prisoners who were shot during their arrests require physiotherapy and other treatments.

Another medical issue is the psychiatric treatment that is supposed to be given to the prisoners and there are many prisoners who need it. Some prisoners suffered in the past from mental problems that were exacerbated by their arrest. There is also no doubt that the minor prisoners are in need of psychological support – many have experienced trauma while being arrested and several have witnessed people being injured or killed. We have witnessed a severe deterioration in the condition of prisoners who have arrived in prison suffering from psychiatric problems, at times necessitating intensive psychiatric care outside prison, which is not provided. The main treatment for psychiatric cases in prison is pharmaceutical, which is certainly not adequate.

It is difficult to call the dental treatments provided to women prisoners proper treatment, since tooth extraction is the most common treatment, and this is especially serious when the treatment is given to prisoners who have been sentenced to long prison terms or when the prisoners need complex treatments.

Other difficulties

In addition to the above, prison conditions are harsh: there is a lack of creative occupational opportunities such as handicrafts; lack of organized educational frameworks, and in some cases, denial of family visits, especially families of minors.

The conditions in the ‘Posta’ vehicle that transports prisoners from and to court continue to be inhumane – prisoners are shackled for long periods, are not separated from criminal prisoners, undergo body searches, and are subject to long waiting periods inside the ‘Posta’.

Let us stress that reasonable living conditions and proper medical care are basic rights of prisoners. The state is responsible for prisoners’ wellbeing; they are under its full control, and the state has the duty and legal responsibility to care for them - first of all according to the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, and according to the various laws and regulations of the Israel Prison Service (IPS) in the matter of medical treatment. Medical treatment and reasonable living conditions are not supposed to be given as a matter of benevolence!

All the above necessitates legal steps pertaining to the following:
1. A petition regarding the medical treatment provided to the prisoners, especially for Abla al-'Adam (remember: she was shot on the head) and for the necessary psychological treatment for the prisoners.
2. The presence of women criminal prisoners in the women political prisoners’ wing in HaSharon Prison. Although the groups are separated, the criminal prisoners tend to disturb the peace, particularly at night.
3. The harsh ‘Posta’ transport conditions, with emphasis on the harassment of the detainees.
4. Petition regarding the prison canteen: the lack of products, the high prices and a demand that part of the canteen profits be used for the benefit and well-being of political prisoners.

Damon Prison (Carmel Mountain)

Recently, we have been witnessing a lack of encounters between mothers and their young children in Damon Prison or difficulties in such encounters. According to the IPS regulations (and a High Court of Justice decision) mothers of small children should be allowed to spend the last ten minutes of a visit by their small children without a barrier at least once a month.

HaSharon Prison (Tel Mond)

The women prisoners at the HaSharon Prison established several committees for various matters. The committees include: the Culture Committee, the Committee for Social Affairs and Recreation. The minors also established their own committee.

Handicrafts materials – while the canteen stocks materials, the prices are too high and thus the prisoners cannot afford them. Prisoners often spend whatever meagre funds they have on food and hygiene products, while for the past year the families are not allowed to bring handicraft materials into the prison. This means the prisoners are prevented from engaging in any significant creative work.

Administrative detention

Women's Organization for Political Prisoners together with the Coalition of Women for Peace has embarked on a Campaign to Release Women Administrative Detainees in August 2017

There are four administrative detainees, including Sabah Faroun whose detention was extended recently. She is supposed to be released in December 2017 after 18 months under administrative detention.

New administrative detainees:
Khadija al-Rubai, 32, from Yata, detained on 9 October 2017, an administrative detention order was issued against her for three months
Bushra al-Tawil, 24, from al-Bireh, detained on 1 November 2017, an administrative order was issued against her for four months.

Released from administrative detention:
Afnan Abu Haniyeh, released on 27 September 2017, after three months.
Khitam Saafin, released on 1 October 2017, after three months.
Ihsan Dababseh, released on 23 November 2017, after nine months.

It is always important to emphasis the evil of administrative detention; administrative detention is meted without indictment and can be repeatedly extended for an indefinite number of times.

We wish to join the call to release all Palestinian political prisoners.

Due to the large number of detainees and prisoners, WOFPP is now visiting two prisons, Damon and Hasharon, and the number of prison visits has also increased. The minor prisoners who are incarcerated for the first time require extra attention and we are also addressing the cases of prisoners injured during their arrest, something that is new to our experience. At the same time we also continue to monitor the hearings at the military courts. The extra work has placed a strain on our very limited budget and donations to help with our increasingly heavy workload will be much appreciated.

For donations to WOFPP:
Bank account:
Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)
Account number: 471067
Branch 532
Daniel Frisch St. 3,Tel Aviv 64078, ISRAEL
IBAN number: IL 60-0125-3200-0000-0471-067

Address to receive the contribution:
Frug Street 30
Tel Aviv 63417, ISRAEL

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