From the Testimony of a Palestinian Woman Prisoner – PCATI special report

International Human Rights Law (IHRL), Israel / OPT, Press Release, Women’s rights and gender justice

Read in:  Arabic 

Read the report here

This report examines the imprisonment conditions of Palestinian women deprived of their liberty by the Israeli security forces for reasons of “security” (hereafter, for brevity’s sake: “Palestinian women prisoners”) and these women’s treatment as reflected in their testimonies,paying special attention to their needs as women, as Palestinians and as prisoners.

The legality of policy towards Palestinian women prisoners will be examined through the lens of Israeli and of international law – human rights law and the laws of occupation – to which the State of Israel is beholden, and by comparing Israel’s obligations with the situation in practice.

The conditions of imprisonment will be considered within this framework, both with regards to the unique needs of women deprived of their liberty, including medical treatment, hygenic conditions and gynecological needs; and with regards to the needs and rights due both men and women, such as their rights while under interrogation and the right to meet their families.

The purpose of incorporating a gender aspect into the general analysis is to a spotlight the unique situation of Palestinian women prisoners and the double burden they bear: as Palestinian prisoners in an oppressive Israeli prison system, and as women governed by the patriarchal conditions which control their fates. Finally, the report ends with concluding remarks and recommendations.

According to data from the Palestinian human rights organization Addameer,4,900 Palestinians classified as “security” prisoners were being held in Israeli prisons as of April 2013 (including Palestinian citizens of Israel); among these were 14 women prisoners, 168 being held under administrative detention and 236 minors.