The Mandela Institute for Human Rights and Political prisoners made statements on the "steadfastness and sacrifices of Palestinian women who play an important and significant role in the Palestinian society and the struggle for liberation."
The Mandela Institute stated that Palestinian women face many different types of suffering and oppression under the Israeli occupation and are subjected to kidnapping by the army, killing, torture, and are wives and mothers of detainees and martyrs.
Marking the March 8th, International Womens' Day, the Mandela Institute stated that international human rights groups should probe violations against female detainees imprisoned by Israel. According to the Institute, female detainees are subjected to treatment that violates International Law including the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions.
The Institute stated that there are currently 80 female detainees imprisoned by Israel, including two mothers, who are imprisoned with their children, identified as Yousef and Ghada. Dozens of detainees are suffering from malnutrition, and are subjected to torture, denied visitation rights and put in solitary confinement.
The Institute added that there are several female detainees who gave birth to their children while behind bars, under conditions that do not meet basic health requirements. Some of the detainees who gave birth while in prison are:
– Mirvat Taha gave birth to her son Wael on August 2, 2003.
– Manal Ghanim, gave birth to her son Nour on October 10, 2003.
– Samar Sbeih, gave birth to her son Bara on April 30, 2006.
– Fatima Al Ziq, gave birth to her son Yousef on January 17, 2008.
There are approximately 22 female detainees who are separated from their children. Several detainees are wives of male detainees, including: Erena Sarahna and Ibrahim Sarahna, Eman Al Ghazzawi and Shaer Al Ashy, Nour Shukry and Mohammad Al Hashlamoun, Khawla Zeitawi and Jasser Al Omar, Itaf Al Hodaly and Waleed Al Hodaly.
The Mandela Institute stated that female detainees are also not provided with proper medical attention, including those arrested while pregnant. Pregnant detainees are not receiving required prenatal checkups and medical treatment. This is in addition to being subjected to the usual forms of mistreatment, lack of visitation rights, and repeated attacks by Israeli soldiers.
The Israeli Prison Administration currently bars entry of clothes, shoes, blankets and several other essential supplies. The Mandela Institute demands that the International Community, Human Rights organizations, and the United Nations intervenes and pressures the Israeli government to improve conditions for the detainees providing them with needed medical attention.