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IPS releases Shirin Issawi from solitary confinement after 36 days

July 27, 2017 9:49 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 12, 2017 2:41 P.M.)
Shirin Issawi (File)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The Israel Prison Service (IPS) has ended the solitary confinement of Palestinian lawyer Shirin Issawi and will transfer her from Jalama to HaSharon prison next week, according to a statement on Thursday from the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs.

A lawyer of the committee, Yamin Zidan, who had previously filed an appeal against Issawi’s solitary confinement, noted that she was held in solitary for more than a month, since June 22.

Issawi, who was detained in March 2014, was sentenced to four years in prison last year alongside her brother Medhat for allegedly being in contact with, and providing funds to, Palestinian prisoners.

Committee lawyer Hanan al-Khatib told Ma’an earlier this month that Issawi was put in solitary confinement after she reportedly confronted IPS officials carrying out a raid in Damon prison.

Al-Khatib said that the IPS forces violently assaulted Issawi during the Damon raid, leaving her bleeding and with bruises, before transferring her and three other prisoners to solitary confinement.

Issawi told al-Khatib that following the violent Damon raid, she had been fined 700 shekels ($198), banned from family visitations and purchasing from the prison commissary for a month, and sentenced to seven days in solitary confinement, while all the other Palestinians detained in Damon had been barred access to the prison yard for three days.

Issawi described the imprisonment conditions in Jalama as terrible, telling al-Khatib that three surveillance cameras were installed in her dirty cell, invading her privacy at all times, while the cell’s window was obscured with plastic sheeting, and prison guards shouted racist epithets at the prisoners.

Shirin Issawi, who is also the sister of prominent prisoner Samer Issawi, threatened to launch a hunger strike should Israel continue to hold her in solitary confinement.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, of the 6,200 Palestinians held in Israeli prisoners as of May, 56 were women or girls.

Addameer has reported on the mistreatment of Palestinian women by Israeli prison authorities, stating that the majority of Palestinian women detainees were subjected to "psychological torture" and "ill-treatment" by Israeli authorities, including "various forms of sexual violence that occur such as beatings, insults, threats, body searches, and sexually explicit harassment.”

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