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Urgent campain-violance against women
Case ISR 160210.2/ ISR 160210.2.VAW
Follow-up of case ISR 160210/ ISR 160210.VAW and ISR 160210.1/ ISR 160210.1.VAW
Administrative detention against a Palestinian woman/ Ill-treatment/ Serious concerns for her safety

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) has received new information and requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

New information

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by Addameer and Al Haq, two members of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the re-arrest and administrative detention of Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi, 30 years old and resident of Burqin village near Jenin, as well as her serious health condition after more than 30 days of hunger strike in protest of her detention. Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi had been released from over two years in administrative detention on 18 October 2011, as part of the prisoner exchange deal concluded by the Israeli government and Hamas, whereby 1’027 Palestinian political prisoners were released in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit .

According to the information received, Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi was re-arrested from her family home on 16 February 2012, about four months after her release, when 50 Israeli soldiers raided her house in Burqin village. The soldiers were accompanied by an intelligence officer and a large number of dogs and first raided her brother’s home before coming to her house. The soldiers moved through his house with the pack of dogs, causing the children of the household to panic. When the soldiers entered Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi’s and her parents’ house, the intelligence officer reportedly commented that it would just be a “five minute visit.” The soldiers then ordered Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi and some of her family members to leave the house, while holding her father and older brother in a room by themselves.

According to the same information, after the soldiers searched the house, the intelligence officer announced that they had an order to arrest Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi, without showing any arrest warrant or providing any reason for her arrest. The soldiers then brutally threatened and abused Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi and her family. First, her brother heard the intelligence officer say, “Hana must die.” Next, one of the soldiers reportedly grabbed her hand and pulled her. She objected and told him that if they needed to hold her, they should bring a female soldier to do it. He completely disregarded her and when she tried to remove his hand, he began to beat her upper body and slap her in the face. Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi’s brother, Omar, attempted to jump in front of her to protect her, but the soldiers attacked him and beat him with their guns. A female soldier was then brought to detain her. Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi was blindfolded and put in a military jeep, where she was made to sit on the ground on her knees. Each time she tried to move, the soldiers allegedly ordered her to stay still and shut up.

Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi was then reportedly taken to Salem Detention Centre and left blindfolded for two hours in a tiny room before being transferred to HaSharon Prison, one of Israel’s largest prison facilities. While at Salem Detention Center, she was allegedly further subjected to beatings and humiliating treatment. She began an open hunger strike on the first day of her arrest in protest of the ill-treatment she was subjected to during and following her arrest.

On the fourth day following her arrest, Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi was reportedly transferred to a different section of the prison near the other Palestinian detainees, but was again placed in a room alone. The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) administration reportedly attempted to convince her to end her hunger strike, employing such methods of pressure as threatening to place her in solitary confinement for an extended period. On 21 February 2012, she was transferred back to Salem for interrogation. On 23 February 2012, she was taken to Salem Military Court, where one of her lawyers informed her that she might be placed in administrative detention. Her lawyer received a copy of the order, which states that she will be put in administrative detention for six months, until 16 August 2012. On the same day, on 23 February 2012, she was also sentenced to seven days of solitary confinement as punishment for her hunger strike. On 27 February 2012, she was transferred back to the same section as the other Palestinian female prisoners. On 4 March 2012, the military court declared that her administrative detention order would be reduced from six to four months, but without promising not to extend or renew it.

According to the same information, on 19 March 2012, Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi was transferred to a hospital and then back to prison. According to her doctor, she is in immediate mortal danger and should be transferred to a hospital for close observation. However, the IPS would refuse her transfer to a hospital and would continue to put pressure on Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi to end her hunger strike.

The International Secretariat of OMCT reiterates its deep concern about the situation of Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi and, in particular, the fact that the procedure under which her administrative detention has been ordered as well as her detention conditions, do not meet international human rights standards.

Background information

OMCT had earlier been informed about the administrative detention of Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi. According to the information received, on 14 September 2009 at approximately 1:30 a.m., Israeli soldiers surrounded Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi’s family home in Burquin Village, near the West Bank town of Jenin, ordered Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi’s entire family outside of the house and demanded Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi to give them her identity card. During the search of the house, one soldier reportedly took framed pictures of Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi’s brother, Samer , and tore them apart. The soldiers also reportedly shouted and cursed her and her family, pushed her 63-year-old father with the butt of a rifle, handcuffed and arrested her. Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi was first transferred in a military jeep to Salem Detention Centre, and then transferred to Kishon Detention Centre in Israel, where she was interrogated every day from 10:00 am until late hours in the evening for eight days.

During the interrogation period, she was allegedly held in solitary confinement in a very dirty cell measuring six square meters with no windows or natural sunlight. She was allegedly subjected to sexual harassment and physical violence. During one interrogation session, one of the Israeli interrogators called her “habibti”(darling) in a provocative way. Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi felt humiliated so she shouted at him. The interrogators reportedly responded by slapping her and beating her on her arms and hands. The guards then brought her back to her cell, where she was tied to her bed. They also took pictures of her in that position.

According to the same information, after the interrogation period concluded, Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi remained at Kishon Detention Centre for nine days (Israeli authorities claimed for investigation reasons), before she was transferred to Section 2 of Hasharon Prison.

On 29 September 2009, Israeli Military Commander Ilan Malka issued a six-month administrative detention order against Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi, on the grounds that she posed a threat to the “security of the area”. The order was subsequently extended until her release, on 18 October 2011 (see above).

Background Information

Israel has been holding hundreds of persons from the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) in administrative detention. In the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli army carries out administrative detention on the basis of Military Order 1651, which empowers military commanders to detain an individual for up to six months if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.” On or just before the expiry date, the detention order is also frequently renewed and this process can be continued indefinitely.

Administrative detention deprives detainees of basic safeguards, including the right to challenge the evidence on which the detention is based, warrants are not required, and the detainee may be held in incommunicado detention for an extended period, subject to renewal.

The United Nations Committee Against Torture has already expressed concern that administrative detention does not conform with article 16 of the Convention . This type of indefinite administrative detention, following manifestly unfair proceedings, can amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

According to the information received, at least 23 other Palestinian political prisoners are currently on hunger strike to protest the use of administrative detention as an indefinite form of detention without charge or trial.

OMCT expresses its deep concern about the situation of Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi and, in particular, the fact that the procedure under which her administrative detention has been ordered, as well as her detention conditions, do not meet international human rights standards, including her right not to be arbitrarily detained as well as her absolute right at all times not to be subjected to any cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Israel urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi;
ii. Order her immediate transfer to a hospital, with adequate care that is uninterrupted by frequent transfers;
iii. Guarantee unconditional access to all members of her family;
iv. Order her immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international legal standards, or, if such charges exist, bring her promptly before an impartial, independent and competent tribunal that will ensure due process at all times;
v. Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the reports of ill-treatment, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
vi. Guarantee that adequate compensation is awarded to Ms. Hana Yahya Shalabi for the violation of her human rights;
vii. At all times ensure strict respect for international human rights and humanitarian law in the exercise of its jurisdiction, including in connection with military operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.


 Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, 3, Kaplan Street, PO Box 187, Kiryat Ben-Gurion, Jerusalem, Israel, Fax: +972- 2-651 2631, Email:
 Brigadier General Danny Efroni, Military Judge Advocate General, 6 David Elazar Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel, Fax: +972 3 608 0366, +972 3 569 4526, Email:,
 Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi, OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command, Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalem, Fax: +972 2 530 57 41
 M. Ehud Barak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, 37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv 61909, Fax. + 972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757
 Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations Office and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, Avenue de la Paix 1-3, 1202 Geneva, Fax: +41 22 716 05 55, Email:

Please also write to the embassies of Israel in your respective country.
Geneva, 23 March 2012.

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.