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Palestinian women prisoners held in Damon prison are facing particularly harsh conditions, reported Palestinian lawyer Hanan al-Khatib on Monday, 28 March. 17 of the 25 women held in the prison, opened several months ago after the overcrowding of HaSharon prison, are sharing one room.

The one room includes only one toilet which is insufficient for the needs of the women; several of the women prisoners sharing the room are ill. The prison is also very cold and the women do not have access to winter clothing and blankets.

Furthermore, the women prisoners held in Damon prison, noted Khatib, are subject to constant transfers by ‘Bosta’ whenever a hearing is scheduled in their cases before the military courts. They are first transferred to HaSharon and then to the military court, with the same procedure upon their return. At times, they are held at HaSharon for an entire weekend if their hearing takes place on a Thursday or Sunday, preventing them from any stability. WOFPP reports  that “this means that they are deprived of any kind of routine, and this together with the difficult transportation conditions and the move from prison to prison lead many of the women to want to give up attending their own trials – something about which they do not always have a choice.”

Regarding the Bosta,  Leena Jawabreh, former Palestinian prisoner, wrote, “She is transferred in the ‘Bosta,’ the designated vehicle to transfer prisoners to the military courts. It is in fact a mobile cell with a metal chair. It can barely accommodate one person in a sitting position, and the windows are blacked out. The prisoner is chained by her hands and feet, and the shackles hurt her wrists every time she moves and leave marks on her body. The Bosta is used without any mercy from the occupation. She is subjected to all kinds of humiliation, verbal abuse, and mockery by the soldiers who transport her.”