from Jews Who Speak Out:
The Zionists are patiently waiting for the opportunity to take military action to free the one and only IDF prisoner held by the Palestinian resistance, tank crewman Gilad Shalit. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4Idgv4Km98&feature=player_embedded
Meanwhile, thousands of activists of the Palestinian resistance are in Israeli jails, prisons, and concentration camps. Some are guerrilla fighters. Some are elected parliamentarians. Some are women. Some are children. Many have been held without charges and without trial in “administrative detention.” All are political prisoners.
Read the story of Ali Jidaar http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahap7fXRP10
The cream of Palestinian political activists are in Israeli prisons and concentration camps.
They need to be released.
One of the lessons of the South African freedom struggle is the need to fight to free the political prisoners. All the strikes, boycotts, and mass demonstrations against the apartheid regime included the demand: “Free the prisoners! Free our leaders!” The only way the world heard the name Nelson Mandela was from the people’s demands to free him. From the demonstrators, F.W de Klerk and the leaders of the apartheid regime learned whom the people trusted, and whom the regime had to speak with as representatives of the people.
The people identified their leaders and fought for their release.
In the case of Palestine, a broad campaign is needed to name and describe the political prisoners and demand their release.
Below are links with information about 3 leaders: Marwan Barghouti, Ahmad Saadat, and Ameer Makhoul.
Marwan Barghouti is the leader of Fateh-Tanzim in the West Bank, elected in January 2006 to the “Palestinian Legislative Assembly” under Israeli occupation, and the most popular Palestinian political leader.
Ahmad Saadat is the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, also elected in the 2006 elections under Israeli occupation, and the main leader of the Palestinian left in the occupied territories and in the refugee camps.
When the Israeli prosecution found NO EVIDENCE of Saadat’s involvement in the assassination of Rehavam Zeevi, they transferred him to a military court. In the military court they charged him with "membership" in the political organization that he leads, and whose public face he is, and then convicted him. He is a political prisoner. See: http://www.haaretz.com/news/israeli-arab-party-meets-leftist-palestinian-faction-led-by-convicted-terrorist-1.260334
Ameer Makhoul is a central leader of grassroots political activism inside Israel, director of Ittijah network of NGOs, and chair of the Popular Committee for the Defense of Political Freedoms, imprisoned on trumped-up charges so as to neutralize him as a political activist and leader. See:
In this context, I must mention the ongoing saga of anti-democratic Israeli targeting of unrepentant dissident, Mordechai Vanunu. After serving a very long, very difficult, and very vindictive prison term (for a crime without a victim), Vanunu was released and subjected to onerous restrictions, totally undemocratic, imposed by a “Military Commander”: Don't speak to journalists Don't speak to anyone abroad. Don't try to leave the country, and the like.
Mordechai Vanunu is still a political prisoner. See:
Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak is in Israeli prison as punishment for his political activity. See:
And, last but not least, Abdallah Abu Rahma of Bil’in in the occupied West Bank has been recognized by Amnesty International as a “prisoner of conscience”
Political prisoners have names and faces. We need to focus on the names and the faces, and demand the release of all political prisoners.
Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)
P. O. Box 31811, Tel Aviv
Newsletter January 2011
There are, at present, 37 women political prisoners in the Israeli jails: 20 in Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond), 16 in Damoon Prison (Carmel Mountain), 1 in Neve Tirza Prison (Ramle).
Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond)
The prison authorities are still prohibiting the prisoners' families from bringing shoes. The women prisoners have to buy shoes in the canteen where they are more expensive and, very often, there are no shoes suitable for women. Therefore, there are prisoners who do not have winter shoes.
Kahera elSa'adi, from Jenin Refugee Camp, was arrested on 30 May 2002. The prison authorities still refuse her request to be treated by a private dentist.
At the beginning of November 2010, after the treatment had been planned and coordinated with the prison authorities, Yusef elSadeq Association (prisoners support association) sent a private dentist. The prison authorities prohibited the dentist from treating her. At the end of November, the prison authorities allowed her to be treated - but then refused again on new pretexts.
'Abeer Odeh, from Tulkarem district, was arrested on 9 August 2009. On 30 December 2010, she was sentenced to 30 months' imprisonment.
Muntha elTawil, 44 years old, from elBirah, an administrative detainee, was arrested on 8 February 2010. In December 2010, she was sentenced to 13 months' imprisonment and a fine of 5000 NIS.
Ramia Abu Samara, 41 years old, from Yata, Hebron district, was arrested on 16 December 2010 and brought to the detention center in Qiriat Arba where she endured interrogations for some hours. After the interrogation, she was transferred to Hasharon Prison.
Shahira Burkan, 52 years old, from Hebron, was arrested on 23 November 2010 and released on 17 December 2010.
Sabreen Mash'al, 20 years old, from Jerusalem, was arrested on 25 June 2010, sentenced to seven months in prison, and was released on 12 January 2011.
Damoon Prison (Carmel Mountain)
Linan Abu Ghulmeh, an administrative detainee, from Beit Furiq, Nablus district, was arrested on 15 July 2010. On 16 January, she was transferred from Hasharon Prison to Damoon Prison. The Israeli authorities refused her demand to meet her sister Taghreed Abu Ghulmeh, equally a political prisoner, who had been held in Damoon Prison and was released on 2 January 2011. Linan went on a long-lasting hunger strike demanding to be with her sister. When she was on hunger strike, the Israeli authorities transferred her for interrogation to Petah Tiqva Detention Center. The interrogations were about her hunger strike and her demand to meet her sister.
Faten elSa'adi, from Jenin Refugee Camp, was arrested on 8 May 2008. Her family members are still prohibited from visiting in prison. The Israeli authorities refused her request demanding to meet her brother who is also a political prisoner.
The way from prison to court
Sumoud Karaja, 22 years old, from Safa, Ramallah district, was arrested on 25 October 2009.
Following her complaint about physical violence and very harsh treatment in Neve Tirza Prison where she was temporarily held on the way from prison to court, an interrogator came to hear her complaint. The interrogator was nasty and told her that she had heard the other side and that "there had not been any beating". It should be noted that there were lawyers who met Sumoud after she had arrived from court and who saw the bruises.
Suad Nazal, 24 years old, from Qalqilya, was arrested on 23 August 2009. Since more than a year, she has suffered from jaw problems. The prison authorities have not yet given her any medical treatment.
'Ayshah 'Abayat, from Bethlehem, was arrested on 14 August 2009. She is suffering from jaw problems. The prison authorities have not yet given her access to medical treatment.
Recently, her mother got a one-time permission for a visit and came to visit her.
Taghreed Abu Ghulmeh, 28 years old, from Beit Furiq, Nablus district, was arrested on 15 July 2010. She was sentenced to 6 months' imprisonment and a fine of 2000 NIS and was released on 2 January 2011.
Neve Tirza Prison (Ramle)
Wafaa elBis, from Jebalya Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip, was arrested on 20 June 2005. On 17 October 2010, she was transferred to a separation cell in Neve Tirza Prison where she is held in harsh conditions: a very small cell whose size does not allow her to pray comfortably, she cannot speak with anyone, she does not get any books and newspapers, her recreation time is only one hour, she suffers from the criminal prisoners' shouting and banging day and night.
Like all the prisoners' families from the Gaza Strip, her family is prohibited from visiting the prison. The prison authorities are still prohibiting her to make a phone call.
According to a previous decision, the prisons authorities should have transferred her to Hasharon Prison, but they refused to transfer her. On 12 January 2011, there was a session in court, and the court decision was that the prison authorities would examine possibilities of transferring Wafaa from the separation cell in Neve Tirza until 9 February. If they do not transfer her, they should give reasons for this refusal.
Although the court is very close to the prison, and the travel time from prison to court is less than ten minutes, Wafaa was held before the session for about six hours without food or water; some of this time she had to remain in the prison car.
Six women were arrested on 1 January 2011 after demonstrations against the killing of Jawaher Abu Rahma by the Israeli army during the weekly demonstration in Bil'in, Ramallah district.
The detainees were brought to Hertzelia police station at night where they were held in the yard until morning with shackled hands and legs. They were brought to a court in Tel Aviv and were held in a cell in the court basement. After the court session, they were transferred to Neve Tirza Prison for three days. On the way from court to prison, the detainees were held for many hours in a prison car divided into small windowless and stuffy cells. In Neve Tirza Prison their coats were taken from them; they received water only after long hours and received one blanket each.
They were released on 4 January 2011 on bail of 6000 NIS.
WOFPP needs donations to enable us to continue frequent lawyer's visits in the prisons.
For donations to WOFPP:
Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)
Account number: 471067
Daniel Frisch St. 3, Tel Aviv 64078, ISRAEL
IBAN number: IL 60-0125-3200-0000-0471-067
BIC (swift): POALILIT
Address to receive the contribution:
Frug Street 30
Tel Aviv 63417, ISRAEL