PAWA Focuses on Prisoners

By Twair, Pat; Twair, Samir | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May 2004 | Go to article overview

PAWA Focuses on Prisoners


Twair, Pat, Twair, Samir, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


"Stories of Courage" was the theme of the Palestinian American Women's Association's International Women's Day celebration March 13 in the Garden Grove Hyatt Regency.

Highlighting the program was a dramatic performance by 11 young women portraying actual Palestinian women political prisoners. Each reader had prepared a factual account of the arrest and incarceration of actual prisoners who were jailed as young as age 14.

Sahar Francis, an attorney for the Jerusalem-based human rights group Addameer ("conscience"), discussed the plight of 6,000 prisoners in Israeli detention, 94 of them women.

"We hear about negotiations, but never about prisoners," stated Francis, who had traveled earlier that week from Israel. "Prisoners were not even discussed at Oslo. If a peace agreement ever is to be reached, prisoners should be released without conditions."

Women prisoners have to share the same bathroom with men in detention centers, Francis said, and when Israeli policewomen search women prisoners men observe the procedure. …

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