Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)

Newsletter February 2010

There are, at present, about 34 women political prisoners in the Israeli jails: about 18 in Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond), about 15 in Damoon Prison (Carmel Mountain) and one woman in Neve Tirza Prison (Ramle).

Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond)

The prisons authorities are still preventing the women political prisoners' families from handing over handicraft materials.
On 26 January 2010, WOFPP's lawyer Taghreed Jahshan sent a letter to the prison authorities demanding to allow the women political prisoners' families to hand over handicraft materials. Until the end of February 2010, no answer from the authorities has arrived.

'Abeer Odeh,
from Tulkarem district, was arrested on 9 August 2009. She did not stand on her feet while the guards counted the prisoners - (the guards count the prisoners three times a day) -because she was sick. Therefore, the prison authorities punished her by transferring her to an isolation cell for a week. They put her in a special cell designated for isolation with a possibility of tying the prisoner to the bed. It had cameras, no glass on the window so it was very cold and wet. There was a very hard iron bed. 'Abeer asked for a wood board but the guards refused and told her to put the mattress on the floor. These conditions caused the worsening of her illness. About a month later, 'Abeer had to go to hospital for medical examinations. A woman guard asked her to undress in order to do a search in the nude. 'Abeer refused, and the guards did not take her to hospital but put her in an isolation cell for some days.

Women under administrative detention
Administrative detention means that the detainee is being held without charge or trial, and the detention can arbitrarily and endlessly be extended.
At present, there are three women who were placed under administrative detention:
Rajaa elGhul, an administrative detainee, 39 years old, from Jenin Refugee Camp, was arrested on 31 March 2009. After she had endured harsh interrogations, she was placed under administrative detention. On 25 February 2010, the Israeli authorities extended her administrative detention for six additional months.
Hanaa Shalabi, from Burqin, Jenin district, an administrative detainee, was arrested on 14 September 2009. On 6 October 2009, after she had endured harsh interrogations, the Israeli authorities issued an administrative detention order of six months against her.
Muntha 'Abed Tawil, 44 years old, from elBira, was arrested on 8 February 2010. The Israeli authorities issued an administrative detention order against her for three months.

Hadija Abu 'Ayash, 42 years old, from Rahat, Naqab district, was arrested on 22 January 2009 and was sentenced to three years' imprisonment.

Released prisoner
Majda Fadda, an administrative detainee, from Nablus, a member of the Municipality Council, was arrested on 5 August 2008 and released on 26 January 2010.

Damoon Prison (Carmel Mountain)

The condition in the cells
At the beginning of January 2010, the prison authorities transferred the women political prisoners to another wing. The conditions in this wing were terrible, especially in winter. The rain came in through the windows and the door and wet the beds, the mattresses and electrical wires. The floor and the wall were wet all the time. The electric power was not sufficient, and prisoners cannot use electrical appliances such as a kettle and heating plate. There was no hot water in the cells and the showers were outside the cells: on rainy days the prisoners get wet on their way to the showers.
On 25 January and 27 January 2010, WOFPP's lawyer, Taghreed Jahshan, wrote letters to the prison authorities with copies to the Public Defender's office and to the Israeli Bar Association, demanding to urgently improve the conditions, and a request for a doctor's document confirming that the cells are appropriate to be inhabited by prisoners. After some days the prison authorities answered that they are beginning to perform repairs in the wing to correct these deficiencies and improve the conditions. They made several amendments. Now WOFPP's lawyer monitors the repair works.
A Public Defender's representative visited the wing, accompanied by a prison officer, and spoke with prisoners.
The Israeli Bar Association sent a letter to the prison authorities and demanded explanations and clarifications concerning the problems raised by WOFPP's lawyer.

Sumoud Karaja, from Safa, Ramallah district, was arrested on 25 October 2009. At the end of January 2010, she was transferred to Damoon Prison. She does not have any family visits because the Israeli authorities prohibit her family members from visiting in prison.

'Aysha 'Abayat, from Bethlehem, was arrested on 13 August 2009. On 27 January 2010, she was sentenced to 36 months' imprisonment.
Suad Nazal, 24 years old, from Qalqilya, was arrested on 23 August 2009. On 27 January 2010, she was sentenced to 28 months' imprisonment.

Neve Tirza Prison (Ramle)

Wafaa elBis, from Jebalya Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip, was arrested on 20 June 2005. She has been held in separation in the wing of the criminal prisoners for more then 5 months. Since her arrest, she has not had any family visits.
After repeated requests from Wafaa and WOFPP's lawyer to allow her to make a phone call to her family, the prison authorities allowed her one call for her sister's wedding.

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