Prisoner released in Shalit tape swap deal goes on 15th day of hunger strike

[ 15/12/2010 – 05:40 PM ]


GAZA, (PIC)– Nablus activist Lenan Abu Ghalma, 28, has gone on her fifteenth day of an open-ended hunger strike as Palestinian rights groups hold the Israeli prison system liable for her tumbling health condition.

Israel rearrested Abu Ghalma and her sister Taghreed from their home in the West Bank city of Nablus during a July arrest sweep in the city against members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The media director of Palestine’s supreme national committee to support prisoners Riyadh Ashqar said Lenan and her sister were separated after being questioned and turned over to administrative detention, with Lenan placed in the Hasharoun prison and Taghreed in the Damon facility. Lenan went on hunger strike when the prison administration ignored requests to unite her with her sister, but cut it off after seven days when promised to cater to her request. Lenan has now been striking for 15 days after authorities renegged.

Abu Ghalma’s health has deteriorated from the hunger strike, Ashqar said. There is concern over her life, as she was placed in solitary confinement and banned from communication with other prisoners as a punishment for her protesting.

Abu Ghalma was previously arrested in 2004 at the Hawara checkpoint while on the way to visit her brother Ahed Abu Ghalma, a PFLP leader now serving a life sentence. She completed five of a six year sentence before she was released in deal to swap 20 female prisoners for a two-minute tape of Gilad Shalit. She was rearrested five months back in an arrest campaign in Nablus.

In a separate development, the families of Palestinian detainees at the Israeli Ramon prison have reported that authorities humiliated them when visiting their loved ones in the facility.

Some visitors were turned back before reaching the prison, in light of security restrictions that have been placed on many of them banning them from visits altogether; while the families of others who were permitted visits were strip searched.

Children were cleared into the visiting area wearing no more than underwear, reliable sources said.

The prison administration was reported to have carried out repeated strip searches on the same people after having confirmed the absence of contraband on their bodies.

Prisoner released in Shalit tape swap deal goes on 15th day of hunger strike.

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