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Urgent Interventions

'Israel: Violence Against Female Prisoners in Neve Tirza prison in Ramle

Case ISR 140703.VAW
Violence Against Women/Severe Violence Injuring Female Prisoners

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Israel.

Brief Description of the Situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), a member of the SOS-Torture Network, of the severe violence committed against women prisoners by guards and the terrible conditions in Neve Tirza prison in Ramle.

According to the information received, a group of women prisoners was attacked with severe violence when they refused to stand up for roll call in the prison. Tear gas was sprayed into small and crowded cells and many of the women prisoners were injured. One prisoner, Ms. Arij Ataf Sbahi Shahabri, was reportedly thrown to the floor and beaten on the back to the extent that she could not walk properly afterwards. Another prisoner, Kahara Elsa’adi, also could not walk and she reportedly had a broken arm and a swollen neck.

The information also indicates that the conditions under which the women prisoners are being held are below the minimum standards. Specifically, the following violations have been reported: sleeping on the floor, unjustified isolation in harsh conditions as a result of the extreme crowding, denial of family visits, preventing minors from exercising their right to study and take examinations, improper medical care, strip searches violating the dignity of the prisoners, food of poor quality, and lack of toilets in the prison yard, among other violations.

OMCT would like to reiterate the concern that it has previously expressed in relation to the ill-treatment and torture that women and girls are subjected to in the Neve Tirza prison in Ramle as well the generally bad conditions for Palestinian women and girls detained in this prison and urges the authorities to ensure that the physical and psychological integrity of all the detainees is respected and protected (See also OMCT’s urgent appeals ISR 200602 VAW/CC, 240901 VAW/CC, and 111001 and their follow-ups.)

Action requested

Please write to the Israeli authorities urging them to:

i. guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the female prisoners in Neve Tirza prison in Ramle at all times and ensure their access to medical care;

ii. carry out a full and impartial investigation into the alleged violence against women prisoners, in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions provided for by law in accordance with international legal standards;

iii. ensure that immediate action is taken to guarantee that the conditions in Neve Tirza prison in Ramle meet minimum international standards;

iv. guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with international human rights standards..

· Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, 3 Kaplan Street, PO Box 187, Kiryat Ben-Gurion, Jerusalem 91919, Israel. Fax: + 972 2 6705475, E-mail:,
· Yosef Lapid, Minister of Justice, 29 Salah Eddin Street, Jerusalem 91010, Israel. Fax : + 972 2 628 5438, E-mail:
· Ambassador Yaakov Levy, Av. de la Paix 1-3, CH-1202, Genève, Suisse, e-mail :, fax: +4122 716 05 55
· Elyakim Rubinstein, Attorney-General/Legal Adviser to the Government, Ministry of Justice, 29 Salah al-Din Street, Jerusalem 91010, Israel, Fax: +972 2 6285438
· Judge Attorney General, General Menachem Finkelstein, Israel Defence Forces, Fax: + 972 3 5694370

Please also write to the embassies of Israel in your respective country.

Geneva, July 14, 2003

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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