Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)

The International Women's day 2011
Free all the political prisoners!

On the International Women's Day we furthermore raise our demand to free all the women political prisoners who are held in the Israeli jails.

We call the world attention to the special situation of all these women prisoners. Two of these women have been in prisons over ten years: Amneh Mona and 'Abeer 'Amru.

We also draw attention to the prisoners who are mothers, there are now eight:
Iman A. Zawiya - mother of two, sentenced to 13 years. She has by now been in jail for almost 10 years.
Abitsam el'Isawe - mother of five, sentenced to 15 years. She has been in jail for almost ten years.
Irina Sarahna – mother of two, sentenced to 20 years. She has been in jail for eight years.
Kahara elSa'adi - mother of four, sentenced to three life sentences. She has been in jail for seven years
Latifa Abu Dare'aa - mother of seven, sentenced to 25 years. She has been in jail for about seven years.
Kifah Katash - mother of two, is hold under administrative detention since six months.
Hanan Hmuz - mother of two, a detainee.
Smahah Hijaz - a mother of seven, a detainee.

The situation of the mothers - and also of their children - is particularly difficult. Meetings with the children are almost impossible because there are many cases where the Israeli authorities prevent adult family members from visiting in prison on the pretext of "security risk". In these cases, the family should find a person who would be "responsible accompaniment" for the children, which is usually a family member of other women prisoners.

The situation is particularly problematic when the children reach the age of 16 and, according to the Israeli occupation forces, are considered adults and must receive special permission to visit in prison. In many cases they do not get the permission from the Israeli authorities, and the relationship between the mothers and their children is severed, as in the cases of: Kahara elSa'adi whose son and daughter are prohibited from visiting her since the age of 16, and Iman A. Zawiya, whose son is prohibited from visiting her since the age of 16.

The meetings, even if they can take place, are cruel because a glass separates the children from their mother, and the conversation at the meeting is through a special telephone that is the link between the two sides of the glass.

However, many women political prisoners are "granted", if at all, family visits only once a year or two or three times, a so-called "permission for a one-time visit" which, of course, is explained again on the pretext of "security risk". Among these prisoners: Suad Nazzal, Sumud Karaja, Amal Jum'a, Ssanabl Breek, Faten elSa'adi, Kahara elSa'adi.

A particularly bad case is the one of prisoner Wafa elBis from Gaza Strip, who has not met her family since she was arrested on 20 June 2005. Her family members, as all the families of the political prisoners from the Gaza Strip, are prevented from visiting the prison.

On this day, we also raise the matter of the poor health care that the prison authorities give to the women political prisoners. Almost all the women prisoners suffer from various dental problems, and many severely suffer from jaw-related problems, like 'Abeer 'Amro, Suad Nazzal, 'Abeer 'Odeh and 'Aisha 'Abiat. The prisoners do not receive serious dental care but only superficial treatments. Moreover, the prison authorities dictate to private dentists who come from outside the prison, which treatments are permitted and which ones are prohibited, regardless of the dentist's professional opinion. For example, the prison authorities prohibit dental implantation treatments, also in cases that are not paid by the prison authorities. In all other fields of health, the care is not better than the dental treatment described above.

The women political prisoners are still suffering from the harsh conditions in prison and from various arbitrary prohibitions imposed by the prison authorities. For instance, the prohibition of bringing shoes from the prisoners' families. In Hasharon Prison there is a severe shortage of shoes, which is particularly difficult in winter weather. Also, the prison authorities do not allow introducing several Arabic newspapers that prisoners asked to receive, even newspapers that are printed in Israel, which by law are allowed to be introduced to prisons. Hasharon Prison recently went further, taking a decision not to allow prisoners the purchase of pens in the canteen - the shopping center of the prison.

Today, there are 37 women political prisoners, among them 4 administrative detainees, which are held in prison without charge or trial, and the Israeli authorities can extend the detention every six months arbitrarily without limitation:
Hanaa Shalabi was arrested in September 2009,
Linan Abu Gulmeh was arrested in July 2010,
Qifah Qatash, was arrested in August 2010,
Alia Ja'abri, was arrested in January 2011.

We call on the Israeli government to release all the political prisoners!

Home page