Rights Groups, Activists Call for Release of Pregnant Palestinian Prisoner

Anhar al-Deek, 26, is expected to have a cesarean delivery while in Israeli custody. (Photo: via Social Media)

Rights groups and activists have called for the immediate release of a Palestinian prisoner who is nine-month pregnant and is expected to give birth imminently.

The Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs [CDA] said it is working hard to obtain approval for the transfer of 26-year-old Anhar Al-Deek to a hospital before she delivers her baby.

Al-Deek, from the village of Naima near Ramallah, was arrested in March on suspicion of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack at an illegal settlement outpost of Sde Ephraim in the West Bank, when she was four months pregnant.

In comments to The New Arab’s Arabic-language edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, CDA’s lawyer Hanan Al-Khatib said Al-Deek has expressed great fear about going into labor in her prison cell.

“We want to maintain media pressure to ensure Deek’s release or at least her transfer to a hospital so she can give birth there, especially since the prison where she is being held is not equipped for labour,” Al-Khatib said.

Al-Deek is being held at Damon Prison, south of Haifa, one of Israel’s most outdated prisons. There are currently no infants there.

Al-Deek’s husband Thaer Al-Hijjah told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that he has only been allowed to see his pregnant wife once.

Al-Deek’s case has set off a number of demonstrations in the West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip demanding her release. Scores rallied on Sunday in front of Damon prison.

Arabic-language campaigns in support of Al-Deek and her unborn child have also gained momentum on social media under the hashtag #SaveAnhar.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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