[Pnews] Gazans hold vigil in solidarity with Palestinian detainee about to give birth in Israeli jails

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 1 11:42:55 EDT 2021

 Gazans hold vigil in solidarity with Palestinian detainee about to give
birth in Israeli jails

September 1, 2021 - https://qudsnen.co/?p=28830

Besieged Gaza Strip (QNN)- People in the Gaza Strip have held on Wednesday
a vigil in solidarity with Palestinian detainee in Israeli jails Anhar
al-Deek who is due to give birth any moment in the coming few days, as she
is in her ninth month.

Many Gazans have participated today in the vigil in front of the
International Committee of the Red Cross office in Gaza, spreading the
voice and condition of the 25-year-old al-Deek from Kafr Ni’ma town in
Ramallah as she is due to give birth while she is still held inside the
Israeli jails.

They were holding banners read: Freedom for the mother Anhar al-Deek and
free all Palestinian prisoners and women held in Israeli jails.

Watch | Palestinians in Gaza hold a vigil calling for the immediate release
of Anhar Al-Deek, a pregnant Palestinian political prisoner who is on the
verge of delivery inside Israeli detention, today.#FreeAnhar
pic.twitter.com/N6LkjvVOxj <https://t.co/N6LkjvVOxj>

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) September 1, 2021

Gazans participated in the vigil have urged the international community and
human rights groups to immediately release Anhar and all the Palestinian
mothers and women held in Israeli jails under harsh imprisonment conditions.

According to the Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ and ex-Detainees’
Affairs, al-Deek needs proper medical care, as she suffers from bipolar

Anhar said she can’t imagine giving birth to her baby inside her detention
cell which is not suitable for humans, not only babies.

Anhar also expressed her fears about having her baby grow up in detention.
Anhar also has another daughter called Julia.

“The prison is not prepared for giving birth and raising a child. The
detention’s conditions are very bad. He will develop epilepsy as a result
of the violent repressions. We, the adults, get scared. How would a child
be born and raised inside detention?” Anhar al-Deek said to her lawyer.

The Commission demanded the Israeli prison administration to immediately
release Anhar and all the female prisoners held in Israeli jails, stressing
that the Israeli occupation government is fully responsible for their
lives, especially the mothers.

The Israeli military court on Monday, however, rejected a request by the
lawyer of Anhar to release her.

The family of Anhar said that they are facing a very hard time, knowing
that they can do nothing to help their daughter.

The family added that all their attempts to pressure the Israelis towards
allowing any of Anhar’s family members to be with her during labor have

In a letter she wrote, Anhar urged every free and honourable person to take
an action and press the Israeli occupation authorities to release her so
that she can give birth outside the jails.

Anhar’s letter read:

“I miss Julia [her first daughter] so much. I wish I could hug her and hold
her tight to my heart. The pain in my heart can’t be written down.
What should I do if I give birth away from you while having my hands

“You know the Cesarean delivery, how would it be inside the prison,
handcuffed, and alone? I am very tired. My pelvic is severely in pain and I
have a strong pain in my leg as a result of sleeping on “al-Bursh” [the
prison’s bed]. I have no idea how I will sleep on it after the surgery, and
how I will take my first steps afterwards with the help of the Israeli
jailor who holds my hand in disgust.”

“They will isolate me with my baby boy after delivery due to coronavirus.
My heart aches for him. I have no idea how I will take care of him and
protect him from the scary sounds they make. No matter how strong his
mother is, she will feel weak in the face of their ill treatment of her and
the other prisoners.”

“I ask every free and honourable person to do something, even with words,
for the sake of this baby who is the responsibility of everyone who can

Anhar is not the only mother who is held inside the Israeli jails and
deprived of their families, children and an honorable life.

There are 40 Palestinian female prisoners held in Israeli jails, among them
11 mothers.

Palestinian women are usually held mainly in Hasharon and Damon prisons,
both of these prisons are located outside the 1967 occupied territory, in
direct contravention of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which
states that an Occupying Power must detain residents of occupied territory
in prisons inside the occupied territory.

In addition to the illegality of Israel’s practices under international
law, the practical consequence of this system is that many prisoners have
difficulty meeting with Palestinian defense counsel, and do not receive
family visits as their attorneys and relatives are denied permits to visit
on “security grounds”.

Moreover, both Hasharon and Damon prisons lack a gender-sensitive approach
and, as such, women prisoners often suffer from harsh imprisonment
conditions including medical negligence, denial of education, denial of
family visits, including for mothers with young children, solitary
confinement, overcrowded cells which are often filled with insects and
dirt, and lack natural light.

Personal health and hygiene needs are rarely addressed by Israeli prisons
authorities, even in cases involving the detention of pregnant women.

Moreover, the majority of Palestinian women prisoners are subjected to some
form of psychological torture and ill-treatment throughout the process of
their arrest and detention, including various forms of sexual violence that
occur such as beatings, insults, threats, body searches, and sexually
explicit harassment.

Upon arrest, women detainees are not informed where they are being taken
and are rarely explained their rights during interrogation.

These techniques of torture and ill-treatment are used not only as means to
intimidate Palestinian women detainees but also as tools to humiliate
Palestinian women and coerce them into giving confessions. While Israel’s
prison authorities and military forces recruit women soldiers to detain and
accompany women prisoners during transfers, the female soldiers responsible
for these procedures are no less violent towards Palestinian detainees than
their male counterparts.

Since the Vienna Declaration on Crime and Justice in 2000, which focused in
part on the special needs of women as criminal justice personnel, victims,
offenders and prisoners, many studies have shown that women’s needs in
prison deserve special attention from the United Nations, policy-makers,
and practitioners. Among the set of needs specific to women prisoners,
issues pertaining to health care require urgent attention, a right
strategically denied by Israeli Prison Service (IPS).

A study conducted by Addameer in September 2008 revealed that approximately
38% of Palestinian female prisoners suffer from treatable diseases that go

The poor quality of food and lack of essential nutrients cause women
detainees to suffer from weight loss, general weakness, anaemia and iron
deficiency. They are also exposed to harsh treatment (such as routine
practices of physical and psychological punishment and humiliation) from
both male and female prison guards, who demonstrate little to no regard for
their well-being or special needs, even when ill or pregnant.
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