PROTEST G4S COMPLICITY IN TORTURE OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN – FREE LENA AL-JARBONI
DATE: Friday 17th January 2014, 2pm – 4pm
LOCATION: G4S HQ, 105 Victoria Street (Closest public transport: Victoria Tube/Rail station)
PALESTINIAN WOMEN POLITICAL PRISONERS
We are launching a campaign to highlight the plight of Palestinian women in Israeli prisons, and specifically G4S complicity in their torture and suffering.
Currently there are 17 Palestinian women political prisoners in Israeli prisons. All but one is in HaSharon prison in Israel. The British private security contractor G4S provides the full security system at HaSharon including the central command room for the entire prison. The transfer of Palestinian prisoners from the occupied West Bank and Gaza to into Israel (to HaSharon Prison) is illegal under international law and constitutes a war crime, G4S is complicit in this by the services it provides to HaSharon Prison.
Before being brought to prison the women have to endure weeks, sometimes months, of torture at one of Israel’s interrogation centres to extract confessions from them – usually the infamous ‘Russian Compound’ in Jerusalem or the notorious Al-Jalame torture den – both these facilities are also secured by G4S.
The longest serving Palestinian women prisoner is Lena Al-Jarboni who has endured 11 years in HaSharon. The campaign will centre around her as an example of what Palestinian women have to endure and their resilience and steadfastness in the face of the occupation prisons.
Lena was born in 1974 to a Palestinian family near Acre in 1948 Palestine. Due to financial difficulty she could not complete her studies and worked in sewing workshops to help her family. In 2002 she was picked up by Israeli security. After 30 days of severe torture at Israels notorious G4S secured Al-Jalame torture den they charged her with “collaborating with the enemy” – she unlike her Palestinian friends has an Israeli citizenship. They sentenced her to 17 years in HaSharon women’s prison.
At HaSharon prison Palestinian women prisoners have to endure beatings, insults, threats, sexually explicit harassment and sexual violence, and humiliation at the hands of Israeli guards. Often they are forced to undergo degrading and intrusive body searches during the middle of the night for no reason other an as a punitive measure. Women have been beaten and left tied to their bed for a day and a half and not allowed to go to the toilet as punishment for spilling water. The cells at HaSharon prison are overcrowded, dirty and infected with rodents and cockroaches. There is a total absence of basic hygiene, women have even been denied sanitary pads when menstruating. The heat is unbearable, The windows are closed and covered so that hardly any air or daylight can enter. The food is insufficient, and of inferior quality & dirty, often containing insects & worms, at times there are not enough portions for all the women.
At HaSharon Lena became the spokeswoman for the other prisoners and converted the squalid rat infested cellars in to an area for prayer and education. She taught sewing classes and Quran. Due to medical negligence Lena can no longer walk and suffers from extreme pain in her stomach and constant migraines. The prison refused to transfer her to hospital for an essential cholecystectomy operation in time. It was only when all the women prisoners threatened to go on hunger strike that they finally allowed her the operation. She has never recovered and her condition is deteriorating. Having endured 11 years in HaSharon prison she is the longest serving Palestinian woman prisoner. She has 6 more years left of her sentence, in her condition it is very unlikely she can survive that. We are demanding her immediate release.
Please join us as we launch his campaign with a protest outside G4S HQ on Friday 17th January 2014 2pm-4pm.
We would like to thank the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association for their help in this campaign.
LIVE UPDATES DURING PROTEST
We will, inshAllah, be tweeting live (hash tags #FreeLenaJarboni #G4S ) from the protest with live photos being uploaded to our twitter and facebook page. So if you can’t join us on the day, please help us by sharing the photos as they get uploaded.
PLEASE HELP RAISE MONEY FOR THE HARES BOYS
On the day, as always, we will also be protesting for the immediate release of the Hares Boys.
One way those who cannot attend the protest can help is by helping raise money for the Hares Boys – five Palestinian children abducted from their homes in the village of Hares and caged in a hole in the ground and tortured until false confessions were extracted for stone throwing and are now facing possible life sentences. The aim is to raise as much as we can in 80 days (starting 30th Oct) to help all the 5 families to deal with the financial burden associated with having their children imprisoned. The children have already spent 10 months in an Israeli dungeon.
Israel is the only country in the world that charges prisoners for their imprisonment. They have to buy food, soap, toothpaste, and everything else for highly inflated prices in the prison shop, because the Apartheid state does not provide for the people it incarcerates. Not only are such policies designed to break the spirit of the imprisoned and their families – they also intend to ruin them financially. Its costs over 125 euros per month to provide for one child’s basic needs in prison.
The initial target of 2000 euros has been reached thanks to our French comrades, who raised a magnificent 1000 euros. The target was however kept low because of the way the fundraising works – if you don’t reach the target in 80 days all the money is returned and the families don’t get any of the money. So we still need people to contribute, every little helps. So far 2,822 euros have been raised with just 6 days remaining. Around 6% of the amount raised goes towards administrative and bank fees of namlebee – the hosts of the fundraising.
Please give generously, thank you.