Two Female Prisoners Abused in Israeli Jails

RAMALLAH, July 13, 2015 (WAFA) – Two Palestinian women, who were arrested by Israeli forces, testified about being subjected to ill-treatment by Israeli forces during their detention and interrogation.

A Palestinian woman who was recently arrested by the Israeli military in the West Bank said she was subjected to physical and verbal abuse by army officers and prison authorities during her interrogation.

The woman, Sabrin Abu Sharar from Hebron, told an attorney with the Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, who was allowed to visit her, that she was subjected to maltreatment during the 15 long hours of investigation, including verbal abuse, and strip searches.

Abu Sharar was also threatened with the imposition of sanctions against her, including travel ban and the usage of strappado torture; where a person  gets hung for hours from the wrists.

Abu Sharar was placed in a foul-smelling cell, about one meter wide by two meters long, that lacked the basic humanitarian requirements, including sufficient ventilation, a clean mattress, and adequate hygiene and sanitation conditions.

Meanwhile, female prisoner Sherine al-Issawi from Jerusalem told the committee’s attorney, Hanan al-Khateeb, that she has embarked on a five-day hunger strike to protest her solitary confinement.

Al-Issawi was placed in solitary confinement for two months in retaliation for an incident that took place between the prison inmates and prison guards.

Al-Issawi said that she was subjected to harsh imprisonment conditions during her solitary confinement at Ramla prison; she was placed in a cell that lacked basic health standards, and was forced to sleep on the floor.

Furthermore,  the cell’s door was sealed with plastic which prevented proper ventilation, causing her to faint due to lack of oxygen. she was also hand and leg tied during her daily breaks.

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.