[Marxism] Palestinian Prisoners Begin Hunger Strike (Fwd from IRSP)

Octob1917 at aol.com Octob1917 at aol.com
Sun Dec 5 09:56:14 MST 2004

2 December 2004

Palestinian female prisoners in Telmond start hunger strike to protest 
against inhumane treatment

On 30 November 2004, a DCI/PS lawyer visited the women’s section of Telmond 
prison where he was able to talk to one Palestinian detainee, Samah 
Abdallah. Samah informed him that on Sunday 28 November, the female 
Palestinian prisoners in Telmond went out to the exercise yard as normal. 
However, before the end of their allotted time outdoors, the prison 
administration ordered the Palestinian women and girls to return to their 
cells. The representative of the Palestinian female detainees, Amna Mouna, 
complained to the guards that it was too soon for the women to go back 
inside. As she did so, she was severely beaten by a group of prison guards 
after which she was taken to the punishment cells, which are cold bare 
rooms with no bedding, no heating and no natural light.

To protest against the manner in which the prison administration deals with 
female Palestinian prisoners and in particular against the beating of their 
spokeswoman and her subsequent isolation, the remaining Palestinian female 
detainees began screaming and shouting. The guards responded by bringing in 
other troops, armed with batons, water hoses and tear gas, who began to 
beat the women and spray them with water and gas.

As a result of the brutal attack, one prisoner, Sana Amer, suffered 
probable fractures to an arm and a leg, while two other Palestinian 
prisoners, Suad Ghazal and Asma’ Hussain both sustained probable arm 
fractures. Many other prisoners were also injured by the guards. The prison 
administration did not provide medical or first aid treatment to the 
injured detainees. Instead, they placed a further 13 prisoners in the 
punishment cells.

There were further reprisals awaiting those who returned to their normal 
cells. The administration confiscated all electrical appliances in the 
rooms, and the personal supplies of food and cigarettes which the women had 
bought with their own money from the canteena. In a deliberate effort to 
make the miserable living conditions even worse, guards sprayed cold water 
all over the prisoners’ belongings, soaking their mattresses and clothes. 
Given that it is winter, the women were not able to dry the bedding, so 
were forced to sleep in cold damp beds. The prison administration cut the 
prisoners’ electricity and water supplies, and the smell of the tear gas 
continues to cling to the walls of the cells.

The person who has suffered the most is Nor, the 1-year old son of Manal 
Ghanem. He was born in prison on 10 October 2003 and has never been outside 
the Telmond compound. After being sprayed by water and gas, Nor developed a 
serious cold. He was not provided with any medication.

Samah also informed the DCI/PS lawyer that during the last week of November 
2004, 30 female Palestinian prisoners were transferred from Ramle 
(Neve-Tertze) women’s prison to the female section of the Telmond Compound. 
Lack of space was already a problem in Telmond when there were only 56 
women prisoners there. Now the number has risen to 86, overcrowding has 
become a serious issue – with as many as five detainees confined to cells 
which are designed to house only two prisoners.

The Palestinian female detainees in Telmond, among whom there are at least 
five aged under-18, have embarked on a hunger strike to protest against the 
maltreatment they have suffered at the hands of the prison administration 
and the appalling conditions in which they are held.

DCI/PS will continue to monitor the situation and will send out further 
briefings as soon as it receives any additional information on the welfare 
and condition of the Palestinian female prisoners in Telmond

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