Palestinian women prisoners denied family visits, isolated for raising Palestinian flag

linakhattabbSix Palestinian women prisoners were prohibited family visits for one month for raising the Palestinian flag in HaSharon Prison on “Israeli Independence Day,” commemorating the dispossession of the Palestinian people and the establishment of the Israeli state on the land of Palestine, including Palestinian student and political prisoner Lina Khattab, imprisoned lawyer Shireen Issawi, Nahil Abu Aisha, Ihsan Dababseh, Haniyyeh Nassar, and Yasmin Shaaban.

Issawi, Abu Aisha, Dababseh, Nassar and Shaaban were then isolated in solitary confinement after they confronted prison administration about the prohibition of family visits. Denial of family visits and solitary confinement are two of the major forms of repression and targeting used by Israeli prison officials against Palestinian prisoners. The denial of family visits is a form of collective punishment, preventing mothers, fathers, spouses and children from accessing their loved ones and family members.

Solitary confinement is also frequently used as a means of control and repression inside Israeli prisons; the demand to end long-term isolation sparked the April 2012 Karameh mass hunger strike of thousands of Palestinian prisoners, which ended with an agreement to end the use of solitary confinement. Despite this agreement, Israeli prison officials continue to regularly use solitary confinement and isolation against Palestinian prisoners.