[Pnews] Palestinian women prisoners announce demands, plan for collective strike 1 July

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jun 14 11:17:47 EDT 2019


  Palestinian women prisoners announce demands, plan for collective
  strike 1 July

14 June 2019

Palestinian women prisoners in Damon prison 
delivered an official letter to the Israeli prison administration, 
informing them of their intention to launch an open hunger strike on 1 
July <http://asravoice.ps/post/12165/> if their demands are not 
addressed. In a statement, former prisoner Mona Qa’adan 
said that 13 prisoners would launch the strike, led by Damon prisoners’ 
representative Yasmin Shaaban 
Others who have announced their participation in the strike include 
women serving long sentences such as Shorouq Dwayyat 
Amal Taqatqa 
Nurhan Awad 
and Malak Salman 
She noted that all of the women prisoners are prepared to join the 
strike as it progresses.

The “Strike of the Free Women,” the name given the struggle by the women 
prisoners, will focus on a number of demands, including:

  * Removal of intrusive surveillance cameras from the prison yard
  * Extension of exercise time to eight hours between 4 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  * Restoration of the exercise yard to eliminate hazards
  * Opening of a library for female prisoners and a classroom for girls
  * A private room near the “canteen” (prison store) for the preparation
    of food
  * Improved conditions for visiting family members
  * Return of confiscated books and family photos

Qa’adan noted that these are simple demands, yet very important for the 
imprisoned Palestinian women, emphasizing their right to human dignity 
and a decent life. She urged all to stand with the women prisoners in 
this struggle to extract their rights. They have issued demands 
repeatedly and have found no relief but further repression; she said 
that they have no option but to strike to extract their legitimate rights.

The prisoners’ message is a call to the people and the masses, not 
simply to officials and institutions, to take an urgent stand on this 
issue in order to reach a solution so that it is not necessary to repeat 
this strike in order to defend the gains achieved by the prisoners 
through struggle, Qa’adan said.

The announcement comes after imprisoned writer Lama Khater 
43, was sentenced to 13 months in Israeli prison 
<http://asramedia.ps/post/9205/> by the Ofer military court. Khater was 
seized from her home in al-Khalil on 24 July 2018. She was subjected to 
harsh and abusive interrogation in Ashkelon detention center and denied 
sleep for days. Khater was accused of “incitement” for her publications 
on social media and in the press; she was also accused of support for a 
prohibited organization. All major Palestinian political parties are 
banned by the Israeli occupation.

On 11 June, Nurhan Awad’s sentence was reduced to 10 years when she was 
successful in her appeal at the Jerusalem high court, Asra Media 
reported <http://asramedia.ps/post/9204/>. Awad, 19, was only 17 when 
she was sentenced to 13 years in Israeli prison.  She was one of several 
Palestinian children targeted for extreme sentencing, especially 
Jerusalemite children. Nurhan was accused of attempting with her 
14-year-old cousin Hadeel to stab a man with scissors: a 70-year-old 
Palestinian man was lightly injured. Hadeel was shot dead by Israeli 
occupation soldiers and Nurhan was shot with two bullets. After her 
cousin was extrajudicially executed, Nurhan was imprisoned.

*Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network calls on all 
supporters of Palestine and the Palestinian people to join the campaign 
to support the women prisoners. Palestinian women prisoners have been in 
the forefront of the prisoners’ movement over the years, including 
organizing multiple hunger strikes that played a significant role in 
securing key rights for the prisoners – the very rights now once again 
under attack. We urge supporters to organize events and actions, issue 
statements and build the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions 
(BDS) against the Israeli occupation state. Palestinian women prisoners 
are struggling for basic rights, dignity and justice – it is critical 
that we support their efforts.*

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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