Letter of Concern and Call fo Free Palestinian women political prisoners in Israeli jails

18 May 2015

Mr. Effie Ben Matityau

Ambassador

Israeli Embassy in Manila, Philippines

 

 

Dear Hon. Matityau,

 

Greetings of peace!

 

We are writing this letter to express our grave concern over news reports of continued imprisonment, harassment and ill-treatment of six Palestinian women in HaSharon Israeli prison.

 

The women -- student activist Lina Khattab, human rights lawyer Shireen  Issawi,  Nahil Abu Aisha, Ihsan Dababseh, Hanniyyeh Nassar, and Yasmin Shaaban -- are prohibited family visits for one month for raising the Palestinian flag on "Israeli Independence Day," commemorating the the displacement of Palestinian people and the occupation of Israel in Palestine.

 

According to Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, the women prisoners were kept in solitary confinement after they confronted prison officials about prohibiting visits of family members. The women are also reportedly maltreated and beaten up while incarcerated, while conditions in isolation are extremely harsh.

 

Shireen Issawi is a Palestinian lawyer arrested in March 2014 without warrant, together with her brother and several others. Issawi has been falsely charged with offenses relating to the transmission of "information from political prisoners to parties hostile to Israel." Since her transfer to Hasharon prison, she has allegedly been a victim of ill-treatment and harassment from the Israel forces.

 

Lina Khattab, 18, is a student at Bir Zeit University, a folkloric dancer and an activist. She was arrested on December 13, 2014 during a student protest to free Palestinian political prisoners. She is convicted to six months imprisonment for allegedly "throwing stones" and "participating in an unlawful demonstration" charges filed by Israeli military. She also had been abused and beaten by Israeli soldiers during her detention.

 

We are alarmed at the continuing illegal arrests and arbitrary detention of Palestinian citizens and rights defenders. Samidoun also reports that there are nearly 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, 500 of them held under administrative detention without charge or trial including Palestinian parliamentary member Khalida Jharrar.

 

We call on Israeli authorities to drop all fabricated charges against Issawi, Khattab and all Palestinian political prisoners, and immediately release them from detention.

 

We call on the Israeli government's attention to the provisions of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by Israel in 1991, which are being violated.

 

Karapatan, together with its member and allied organizations in the Philippines, support and is in solidarity with the Palestinian peoples in their continuing struggle for freedom.

 

 

 Respectfully yours,

 

 (sgd) Cristina Palabay

Secretary General

 

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