Khitam Saafin, prominent social activist and president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, was released from Israeli occupation prisons after three months of detention without charge or trial on Sunday, 1 October 2017.
She was greeted at Jabara checkpoint upon her night release by dozens of comrades from the UPWC celebrating her release. Saafin had been jailed for three months without charge or trial under an administrative detention order. She was seized in a pre-dawn raid on her home simultaneously with Palestinian leftist parliamentarian and prominent defender of Palestinian prisoners, Khalida Jarrar, on 2 July.
She is a well-known international advocate for Palestinian women and freedom and justice for the Palestinian people and their social and national liberation. She has spoken around the world about the struggle of Palestinian women, including at the World Social Forum, and is the chair of the Global Women’s March Palestine.
Saafin was ordered to three months in administrative detention and Jarrar to six months of imprisonment without charge or trial. An international campaign has been calling for the release of the imprisoned Palestinian women leaders, with events and statements from numerous international human rights organizations, advocacy groups, political parties and parliamentarians, with demonstrations for their freedom in cities around the world.
Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable and are issued on the basis of “secret evidence.” There are currently nearly 500 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention, including four women, amid a total of 6,200 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Khitam Saafin’s release is a testament to the power of ongoing campaigns in Palestine and around the world to demand her freedom and that of her fellow Palestinian prisoners.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes Khitam Saafin upon her release. Her struggle for Palestinian women and the Palestinian people will never be suppressed behind Israeli bars. We urge the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar, an end to the policy of administrative detention and the liberation of all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.