Palestinian-Jordanian Prisoner Details of Physical, Psychological Abuse in Israeli Jails

Heba Al-Labadi, 24, has been held without charge in the Al-Damon detention center. (Photo: via Twitter)

Palestinian-Jordanian prisoner, Heba al-Labadi, entered her 21st day of hunger strike on Sunday, to protest against her detention since August 20, as well as the abuses committed against her in Israeli investigation and torture cellars.

Al-Labadi was arrested during a family visit celebrating the wedding of her cousin.

Hanan al-Khatib, a lawyer at the Commission of Detainees Affairs, from the city of Tamra within the 1948 land demarcation, explained that Al-Labadi arrived from Jordan with her mother and aunt to attend the wedding of her cousin, and she was subjected to forms of persecution beyond her worst nightmares.

Al-Khatib presented a shocking account of the physical and psychological abuse and torture committed against her client.

According to Al-Khatib’s account, Al-Labadi was arrested in the morning as soon as she arrived at the Allenby Bridge, and was detained for approximately two hours.

Al-Labadi, suspected of belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), explains what she was forced to endure on the first day, and how she was transferred to the Al-Maskobiya police station in Al-Quds, where they kept her waiting for three hours before being transferred to Petah Tikva detention center, near Tel Aviv.

Al-Khatib confirmed that her client, Al-Labadi, was subjected to daily investigations during the first two weeks, from 9 am to 5 am the following morning.

Al-Labadi recounted that the interrogators screamed at her loudly, while positioned at very close proximity. They sat on chairs surrounding her as if they wanted to deliberately touch her, so she struggled to move away from them.

“However, they continued to provoke me and did not hesitate to spit on me, directing the dirtiest curses and insults to me. Some of the interrogators called me names like ‘whore’, ‘loser’, ‘insect’, ‘animal’, that I was very ‘ugly’ and ‘go to hell’. They also told me that I will ‘rot in prison cells’. I heard such extremely harsh words for the first time in my life. They told me ‘you are an extremist and insulted Islam and Christianity’. They told me racist and obscene words like ‘we, the Jews, are jewels and you are fanatics, you are garbage’.”

Al-Khatib indicated that Al-Labadi has been subjected to various types of threats and warnings, such as the threat of arresting her mother, sister and aunt, in an attempt to extract a confession from her.

Al-Labadi continued narrating her terrifying testimony in the cellar-like room:

“They put me in a narrow cell, full of insects, where I woke up every day seeing cockroaches, ants and insects on my clothes. They gave me foul smelling and dirty nightgowns, and the walls were rough concrete that was hard to lean on. I slept on a thin mattress without a blanket, nor a pillow. The light was on for 24 hours a day and it was annoying to look at. The room was windowless and lacked natural ventilation. The humidity was high, and the toilet was broken and without water, the smell was horrible. ”

As for food, Al-Labadi described it as “disgusting”, and that she only “ate small proportions of bread and milk to survive, while investigators used to eat their fine food in front of me.”

Al-Labadi divulged that she was kept inside the prisoner transport vehicle, with the air conditioning set to a high temperature, while the investigators came down to complete the procedures.

On September 24, Al-Labadi was issued with a five-month administrative detention order. In protest, she announced an open hunger strike, amid attempts by Al-Damun Prison Intelligence Department and its officers to persuade her to renounce it.

Al-Labadi refused to end the hunger strike, poignantly declaring “the tragedy of administrative detention must end, and I will keep going until the end – either victory or death. If I die, you will have my body to detain for as long as you wish.”

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

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