Ihsan Dababseh released after 22-month sentence, highlights struggle of women prisoners


Palestinian prisoner Ihsan Dababseh, 30, from Nuba, al-Khalil, was freed from Israeli prison after a 22-month sentence on Sunday, 10 July.

Dababseh said upon her release that the women prisoners face constant violations of their rights, in particular highlighting a concern raised by fellow women prisoners – the transport by “Bosta,” a metal vehicle in which prisoners are shackled, trips are lengthy and arduous, there is little ventilation, and extreme temperature variations.

She also highlighted the issue of financial penalties being imposed on Palestinian prisoners, saying that her sentence was extended by two months and she was fined 2000 NIS (approximately $500) after being accused of assaulting a prison warden. Dababseh noted that she participated in a 10-day hunger strike in protest of her transfer to Damon prison, until she was returned to HaSharon. She noted that she had been isolated for a week, with 4 other Palestinian women, and denied family visits, because they raised the Palestinian flag inside the prisons on the anniversary of the Nakba.

Palestinian women held in Damon have to endure even greater use of the Bosta than those held in HaSharon – they are first transferred to HaSharon before any trips to court, hospital, or elsewhere.

Dababseh was imprisoned since 13 October 2014 on charges of membership in a prohibited organiation, in her case the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement. She had previously spent two years in Israeli prison before being released in September 2009.

Reham Alhelsi reported, “Israeli occupation soldiers raided her house several times, sent her 4 summons and threatened to blow up her house of she didn’t come to interrogation center. She went with her mother to detention center and was detained and her personal computer was confiscated, while her mother told to leave. ”

During her prior arrest from 2007 to 2009, the Israeli occupation soldiers who had arrested and blindfolded her made this video of themselves dancing around her as she was blindfolded and against the wall:

There are currently 63 Palestinian women held in HaSharon and Damon prisons. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society stated on Sunday that the Palestinian women prisoners noted that there is a severe shortage of bed linens in the summer as well as an insect infestation isnide the prison. Families are prohibited from bringing sheets for the prisoners, and they are given only the option of purchasing them from the “canteen” (Israeli-operated prison store) at exorbitant prices.