RAMALLAH, November 1, 2015 (WAFA) – Female and minor Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been suffering unbearable imprisonment conditions and maltreatment by the prison authorities, including physical abuse, according to the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission (PAC).
A PAC attorney told WAFA that female prisoners in Hasharon Israeli prison are held in unbearably overcrowding cells, in the aftermath of Israel’s recent large-scale detention campaigns carried out in the West Bank, including Jerusalem.
Lina Jarbouni, who represents female prisoners in Hasharon prison, said that due to heavy rains last week, power was shut down in the prison cells and prisoners’ rooms were flooded with rainwater, which further exacerbate their suffering.
Away from overcrowding, a number of female prisoners also reported to have been subjected to physical abuse during detention and investigations.
Jarbouni cited the case of prisoner Jurin Qadah from Ramallah, who was exposed to severe beatings when she was recently detained by the Israeli army, which left her bruised throughout her body. She said that the majority of female prisoners are also subjected to other forms of abuse.
To be noted, there are 31 female prisoners currently incarcerated in Hasharon prison, while nine others are still undergoing investigation or receiving hospital treatment.
Meanwhile, CPA attorney Fadi Ebedat, who was recently allowed to visit minor prisoners in Jaf’on Israeli prison, said about 40 minor prisoners, all of whom are from Jerusalem, are experiencing harsh conditions, and are routinely maltreated and verbally abused by the prison’s guards.
Ebedat said that prisoners were distributed across the prison’s small cells, where six prisoners share each cell, equipped with only light blankets and broken electric appliances. The prisoners are also ill-fed in terms of quantity and quality and are in dire need of sufficient clothes.
Other prisoners in Jaf’on jail are further denied family visitations, Ebedat added.
Violations against female prisoners in Israeli jails include brutal manner of their arrest in front of their families and young children; physical and mental interrogation methods; medical negligence towards pregnant prisoners; physical restraints during childbirth; punishments during imprisonment, such as isolation and force; detention in inappropriate places; provocative searches by prison officers; insults, assaults and the use of tear gas.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners Centre for Studies (PPCS), the Israeli forces have arrested 78 Palestinian women in the first quarter of 2015, including several minors.
It said that the year 2015 has seen a clear escalation in the detention of Palestinian women, including minors. ‘Most of [the women] were arrested inside the Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa Mosque,’ the NGO said.
Head of PPCS, Riyad al-Ashqar, noted that the suffering of female prisoners in Israeli jails has increased during the past few months, especially the increase of night raids that are notoriously carried out by male Israeli soldiers without pre-warning, reported the Middle East Monitor on its website.
In March 2013 UNICEF released “Children in Israeli Military Detention,” a 22-page document declaring that abuse was “widespread, systematic and institutionalized in Israeli jails. “In no other country,” it said, “are children systematically tried by juvenile military courts that, by definition, fall short of providing the necessary guarantees.”
The report cited terrifying nighttime arrests; physical and verbal abuse; painful restraints; denial of access to food, water and toilet facilities; solitary confinement; coerced confessions; lack of access to lawyers and family members; shackling during court appearances; and transfer to prisons outside Palestine. It noted that these practices violate international law.