[Ppnews] Occupied Palestine - Women political prisoners

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Sun May 15 11:21:09 EDT 2005



Women`s Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)
P.O. Box 31811, Tel Aviv

Tel.: +972-3-5227124

Fax: +972-3-5299771
E-mail: trn1 at zahav.net.il





Newsletter May 2005



All the women Palestinian political prisoners are now held in Hasharon 
prison (Telmond), after the prison authorities have moved the last group of 
women from Neve Tirza to Hasharon prison, except Tali Fahima.. In many 
cells in Telmond the windows are covered 24 hours a day, and there is no 
light and no fresh air. In Hasharon Prison there are 115 women, among them 
six administrative detainees and 16 minor girls. There are about five women 
in various detention centers.



Family visits. There are many obstacles that make the family visits a rare 
event. The first obstacle is the ongoing closure; then there are people who 
are forbidden to leave their dwelling place or to visit the prison. For 
example, Lyla Bouhary from Nablus hasn't seen her family for three years.

There are also the punishments. The prison authorities use deprivation of 
family visits as a common punishment. For example Amne Muna, Aaysha Abayat, 
Sanaa Aamr and Fairuz Marhil were punished by being deprived of family 
visits for a period of six months. Upon the lawyers' protest against this 
harsh measure, they were answered that the maximum period for the 
punishment is two months. The prison authorities, though, found a way to 
circumvent this stipulation: After two months they allow one visit and then 
again forbid visits and repeat this at will.

When the families finally succeed in getting in, the visit is difficult: 
There are 15 families at one visit in the same room, each family consists 
of approximately three persons; there is a partition made of fiberglass and 
two wire fences between the prisoners and the visitors, which makes it very 
difficult to communicate.



The health care in prison continues to be negligent. For example, many 
prisoners need dental care. A prison dentist visits once in two months. In 
order to see him a prisoner has to wait eight months. Many women suffer 
from bad health: Kidney problems, back pains, stomach disorders, 
dermatology problems, and gall bladder and psychiatry problems.

Maha Awad has problems with her eyesight and needs glasses. The prison 
authorities refuse to let her family bring her glasses on the pretext that 
she has to get permission from the prison ophthalmologist whose last visit 
was four months ago.



Possibilities to study: 33 prisoners have asked to participate in 
matriculation exams. The prison authorities refuse to allow prisoners who 
are still not sentenced (nine prisoners) to take part in the examinations. 
Every year the authorities try to prevent prisoners from taking part in the 
examinations. On 14 April 2005, WOFPP lawyer Taghrid Jahashan took 
affidavits from detainees Maha Awad and Bayan Alkhada and from the 
prisoners' representatives Lina Jarbuny and Amne Muna. Association for 
Civil Rights' lawyer, Sonia Bulus, appealed the prison authorities' 
arbitrary act, and the authorities gave in.

There are not enough books to study. The prisoners asked the Red Cross to 
bring more books, but nothing has been done yet in the matter.

Several prisoners wish to study in Arabic by correspondence. The prison 
authorities would allow them to study in Hebrew only, but these women do 
not know Hebrew.



Canteen: At present, the prison authorities demand the receipt of payment 
to let the prisoners use the canteen. It is a new bureaucratic demand to 
make more difficulties. In spite of their canteen problems the women 
prisoners donated part of their money to the minor Palestinian political 
prisoners whose situation is worse than theirs.



Now there is a tennis table in the courtyard, and the women may use it 
during recreation time.



The campaign to release Manal and Nour. On 8 April, WOFPP submitted a 
petition for the immediate release of Manal 
(<http://www.addameer.org/>http://www.addameer.org/addameer/campaigns/manal/activities.html 
) to the International Committee of the Red Cross, to the Israeli Defense 
Minister and to the Israeli Commander in Chief, but has not yet received an 
answer. At present there are some 280 signatures.

Recently the prison allowed the Red Cross to bring toys to Manal's baby 
Nour. He underwent a hernia operation. Manal went with him to the hospital 
and remained handcuffed all the time. Therefore she couldn't even hold him.



Tali Fahima. The High Court decided to continue holding her in prison until 
the end of the legal procedure. Her trial will continue in July 2005.



New prisoners:

Malak Ziad Mahmud Hanefa, Athsha Sabihat, Kholud Safi Mansur, , Muntaha, 
Magda Fidda and Mariam Altarabine.

Sumayah Alshaar, a mother of 9 children from Gaza she was released after a 
month.



Officially every prisoner, after serving two thirds of his/her sentence, 
can appeal to be released. In practice, the appeals of the political 
prisoners are always rejected.



Releases:

Suad Ghazal was released in March. She served about 6 years and 3 months.

Mirvat Taha was released after her lawyer submitted an appeal to the 
District Court (appeal against the Parole Board who rejected her request to 
be released). She was released on 4 February. She served about 2 years and 
8 months.

Dalia Srandah, a student from Jerusalem, was detained for 8 months without 
a trial.

Arifa Duykat was released on 13 March.

Four women prisoners were released in the framework of the agreement to 
release 500 Palestinian prisoners: Rawda Rabiaa, Amira Abu Daraa, Amal Alan 
and Nima Nakhle.

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
www.freedomarchives.org 
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