Happy International Women’s Day! In commemoration: Palestinian Women Political Prisoners

Posted: 08/03/2012 in Uncategorized

In commemoration of International Women’s Day, here are a few excerpts (sourced from Addameer: Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association-in italics) about the women political prisoners currently incarcerated by Israeli Occupation Forces -including Hana Shalabi, now in her 22nd day of hunger strike. I wish them them strength and justice. I wish them hope. I wish I could do more. Most of all I wish that the allegedly civilised governments funding occupation and apartheid would just fucking stop.

During incarceration the vast majority of women prisoners experience sexual harassment and abuse from both male and female Israeli military and police forces.

I once met a woman in Jenin, her brother was killed by Israeli Occupation Forces approximately 8 years ago. All of her family is politically active against the Israeli occupation, as such each one of them has been arrested by Israeli forces and tortured. About 3 years ago she was arrested and incarcerated for 1 year, her “interrogation” (including torture) period lasted for over 3 months without charge or access to legal council and her family was not notified of her location. During this period she was routinely strip and cavity searched without her consent (raped) by both male and female Israeli occupation personnel. She was kept in solitary confinement. After each session of “interrogation” (lasting between 8-72 hours) she was taken back to the cell and shackled to the wall with her arms and legs spread open while Israeli soldiers verbally harassed her. When not being interrogated she was unable to sleep in her cell for fear of being raped. Following the “interrogation” period she remained in an Israeli military prison for a further 9 months without trial. For her own safety I cannot mention her name.

Below are some of the women currently being held by Israeli Occupation Forces. They have names and continue to face this persecution for having the bad luck of being both women and Palestinian. Just 3 days ago Hana Shalabi had access to a lawyer and confirmed that she had been both verbally and sexually abused in Israeli custody, her hunger strike continues.

Over 10,000 Palestinian women have been arrested and detained since 1967 under Israeli military orders, which govern nearly every aspect of life in the occupied Palestinian territory. There were 36 Palestinian female prisoners in Israeli prisons prior to the exchange deal concluded by the Israeli government and Hamas in October 2011. Hamas reported that Israel agreed to include all female political prisoners in the exchange deal. However, two women, Lina Jarbuni and Wurud Qassem, who have been in prison since before the first phase of releases on 18 October 2011, and an additional two women, Salwa Hassan and Alaa Jubeh, who were arrested before the second phase of releases on 18 December 2011, are still in Israeli detention.

 Lina Jarbuni was arrested on 18 April 2002 and sentenced to 17 years in Israeli prison. She is currently held in Hasharon Prison. She is from Arrabet al-Batoof, in the Galilee region. Lina is 36 years old.

Wurud Qassem was 20 years old when she was arrested on 4 October 2006. She was sentenced to 6 years in prison and is currently held in Damon Prison. Wurud is from Al-Tira, in the Triangle region, and is now 25 years old.

 Salwa Hassan was arrested on 19 October 2011, and is currently in Hasharon prison awaiting trial. She is 53 years old and lives in Hebron. Salwa is married and has six children.

 Alaa Jubeh was only 17 years old when she was arrested from her home in Hebron on 7 December 2011. She is currently detained in Hasharon prison and has not yet been sentenced. Under Israeli military orders, a Palestinian child’s sentence is decided on the basis of the child’s age at the time of sentencing, and not at the time when the alleged offense was committed. Therefore, because Alaa turned 18 on 29 January 2012, she will now be sentenced as an adult.

 Hana Shalabi was re-arrested on 16 February 2012, less than four months after being released as part of the prisoner exchange deal on 18 October 2011. Hana had previously spent over two years in administrative detention. She received a six-month administrative detention order on 23 February 2012, which was reduced to four months on 4 March. Hana began an open hunger strike immediately after her arrest, and will enter her 22nd day without food on Women’s Day. She is currently detained in Hasharon Prison. Hana is from Burqin village, near Jenin, and is 30 years old.

 Yusra Qaadan was arrested on 4 March 2012, while visiting a family member in prison. She is currently detained for interrogation in Beersheva. Yusra, 30 years old, is from Qalqilya. She is married and has four children.

 Manal Suwan was arrested on 6 March 2012 and is currently under interrogation in Hasharon Prison. Manal, married and a mother of two, is 31 years old. She is from a village near Qalqilya.”

 

 

 

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