Inhuman Conditions for Palestinian Women Political Prisoners

30 January 2004

From Tony (at present in East Jerusalem, having so far failed to get into Gaza):

I have been to Ramle, near Tel Aviv, to visit a young Palestinian woman prisoner whom I have been writing to for two years at the request of a Jewish organization, the Women’s Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP). So far I have had no reply from her. She has a back injury as the result of one of the beatings she has received in prison. I did not manage to see her, but spoke to a senior prison officer whom I met a year ago and who said then that he would try to arrange for me to visit her. He has now sent me an e-mail saying that I am not allowed to do so. I have received the following from the WOFPP. I do not yet know whether she is amongst the prisoners transferred to Hasharon.

On January 18, 2004, half of the political women prisoners were moved from Neve Tirza to Hasharon prison. The lawyer Tagrid Jahshan visited them on 21 January and this is her report.

This place is much worse than the previous one and the conditions are unacceptable.

  • Many of the prisoners’ cells are underground.
  • All are damp, dark, very dirty and infested with cockroaches and mice.
  • The windows have been covered, so there is no light and no air in the cells for 24 hours a day.
  • The bunk beds are too short and too low so the prisoners can't be seated. Since there are no chairs in the cells, the prisoners have nowhere to sit.
  • It is very cold in the cells. This jail building is old and has insufficient electrical power for heaters. Also, the women prisoners are not allowed to have more than two thin blankets.
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