Israel: 'Israel: Conditions for the women prisoners in Neve Tirza are deteriorating
Case ISR 240901.1VAW
Follow up to case ISR 240901 VAW/CC
Violence against Women
Torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment
The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) has received new information concerning the torture and ill-treatment of female prisoners in the Neve Tertze women prison in Ramle, Israel.
The International Secretariat has been informed by reliable sources that the conditions for the women prisoners in Neve Tirza (at present there are 12 women) are deteriorating. Lawyer Fuad Sultani from the "Association for the Welfare of the Prisoner" visited the Palestinian women prisoners on 28 January 2002, and the Women’s Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP) lawyer, Allegra Pacheco, visited them on 31 January 2002, and both report the following:
After the last suicide bombing in Jerusalem, the criminal prisoners in Neve Tirza screamed death threats at the political prisoners and threw glasses into their cells. About 30 riot police, men and women, sprayed the cells of the political prisoners with tear gas, even though there are strict directives prohibiting spraying tear gas inside a closed space. Some of the women fainted. The police entered the cells of the Palestinian women and started beating them with their truncheons.
Amne Muna was subjected to the worst beating; her mouth and eyes were forcibly held open by two wardens, while tear gas was sprayed on her face. Both lawyers have seen the burns on her face. She also told the lawyers that an officer threatened her with murder. Amne was later told by the prison authorities that she had not been punished for any personal wrongdoing, but because she is the representative of the women.
All the women were put in isolation and were handcuffed for some hours. Their electrical items such as heaters, radios, kettles and TV sets were confiscated; they are not allowed to shop in the canteen for one month; the only two prisoners who are still being granted family visits at all (they are from Jerusalem), will not be allowed to see their families for two months.
Brief reminder of the situation
The international secretariat was informed that on 13 September, the prison wardens entered the cells of the Palestinian women prisoners, took away their possessions and took Maha Al-A’ak (22), Abeer Amer (21), Suad Ghazal (18), Wijdan Buji (22), and Rab’a Hamael (14) to isolation cells. They then removed Amne Muna (25) to an entirely different section, where there are only criminal prisoners. The women were fearful for Amne Muna’s safety and started screaming her name. Later that evening, male and female police and wardens entered their isolation cells and started beating them.
According to the information, the police and wardens tied their spread arms and legs to their beds with plastic restraints that were tight to the point of causing swelling and severe pain. The wardens covered Wijdan and Suad’s faces with their veils while they were chained to the bed, causing them difficulties breathing. After 2 hours, the wardens came back to the isolation cells and loosened the restraints, but left them chained to their beds in this humiliating position for the night.
A lawyer who visited the prison on 16 September 2001, reported that the women were still in isolation on that day and that they had wounds and bruises on their faces and bodies. During her visit, the prison warden refused to take the shackles off Amne Muna’s legs. There was no water in her cell, and at the time of the visit, at 13h45, she still had not received any water that day. One finger on her right hand was swollen, badly bruised and bloody.
OMCT fears for all the female prisoners’ physical and psychological integrity in the Neve Tirtza prison. OMCT is also very concerned about the generally bad conditions for Palestinian female prisons in this prison. See also urgent appeals Cases ISR 230701.1 and a follow up and ISR111001 Child Concern /Violence against Women and its two follow-ups.
Please write to the Israeli authorities urging them to:
i. guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the female prisoners in Neve Tirtza prison in Ramle at all times and to ensure their access to medical care;
ii. carry out a full and impartial investigation into the alleged torture and ill-treatment, in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions provided by law in accordance with international legal standards;
iii. ensure that immediate action is taken to guarantee that the conditions in Neve Tirtza prison in Ramle meet international standards;
iv. guarantee all human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.
- Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, 3 Kaplan Street, Jerusalem 91007, Israel. Fax: : (972 2)566 48 38 / 691 79 15 E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Meir Shitreet, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, 29 Salah al-Din Street, Jerusalem 91029, State of Israel. Fax:(+ 972 2) 62 8 54 38 or Fax: ++ 972 2 628 8618 Email: email@example.com
- Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Minister of Defense, Ministry of Defense, 7 "A" Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel. Fax:(+972-3)691 69 40, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Eli Yishai, Minister of the Interior, Ministry of the Interior, Fax: 00972 2 670 1411 Email: email@example.com
- Minister of Police, Ministry of Police, PO Box 18182, 3 Sheikh Jarrah, Kiryat Hamemshala, Jerusalem 91181, State of Israel. Fax:(+ 972 2)582 67 69
- Shimon Peres, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fax:(+ 972 2) 530 3704
- The Supreme Court of Justice, Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem, Israel. Fax: (+ 972 2) 652 71 18
- Uzi Landau, Minister of Internal Security, Ministry of Internal Security P.O Box 18182, 3 Sheirkh Jarrah, Kiryat Hamemshala jerusalem, 91181, Israel. Fax: (+ 972 2) 582 67 69, E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director of Neve Tirza Prison, P.O. Box 229, Ramle 72101, Israel, fax: 00972 8 9776652
Please also write to the Israeli consulate or embassy in your country.
Geneva, 7 February 2002
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply