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Protest Outside UK Parliament Demands Freedom For Heba Labadi


inminds
26 October 2019



Vigil outside UK Parliament demands freedom for tortured Palestinian woman hunger striker Heba Labadi


On 25th October 2019, Inminds Human Rights Group held a vigil outside the British Parliament to demand freedom for tortured Palestinian woman hunger striker Heba Labadi who was abducted, brutally tortured and caged without charge or trial by Israel under an illegal six month rolling administrative detention order. To protest this injustice Heba has been on hunger strike for over a month in protest.

Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "The British government helped author this tragedy in Palestine with the Balfour Declaration, and since then, with its arms sales and political cover, it has helped sustain and nurture this racist apartheid colonial regime that subjugates the indigenous people of Palestine. Today the British government has a great responsibility to pressure the Israeli regime to free Heba Labadi, a woman who hasnít been charged with any crime, let alone given an opportunity to defend herself at trial, and yet has been tortured, caged and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment!"




Vigil outside UK Parliament demands freedom for tortured Palestinian woman hunger striker Heba Labadi



Vigil outside UK Parliament demands freedom for tortured Palestinian woman hunger striker Heba Labadi



Vigil outside UK Parliament demands freedom for tortured Palestinian woman hunger striker Heba Labadi



Vigil outside UK Parliament demands freedom for tortured Palestinian woman hunger striker Heba Labadi

HEBA'S ARREST AND TORTURE

Heba Labadi, a 32 years old Palestinian from Jordan, was abducted on 20th August 2019 by Israeli occupation forces whilst she was travelling from Jordan to the West Bank via the Allenby Bridge crossing, to attend a family wedding in Nablus.

Heba Labadi was stripped of her clothes as soon as she was arrested, handcuffed, blindfolded and leg-chained before being moved to the Pitah-Tikva interrogation centre. There she was horrifically tortured, both physically and psychologically. She was interrogated for 35 days. The torture sessions lasted 20 consecutive hours a day for the first 16 days, with only two 30 minute breaks for food. They shackling her hands and legs to a small chair and positioned her body to slant forward so that she cannot sit in a stable position. These stress positions are designed to cause maximum pain, many detainees have never recovered from this form of torture. Whist she was bound they violently shouted at her and physically abused her.

Heba has had to endure countless degrading strip searches, sexual harassment, abuse, and humiliation with interrogators provocatively touching her legs whilst she was tied up, and entering the bathroom with a machine gun starring at her whist she was changing her menstrual pad. They used physical violence and spat at her, insulted her religious beliefs. She said "they threatened me and said that they had arrested my mother and sister in an attempt to force me confess."

Her lawyer was prevented from seeing her for the first 23 days of torture. Her mother has not been allowed to see her, even after 2 months of imprisonment.

A REGIME OF TORTURE


As part of the torture, Heba was constantly rotated between Israel's different torture dens to face different interrogators. These included the Russian Compound of Jerusalem prison which has been named the "butcher shop" by female detainees.
One described her experience "I felt my body burning under their [electric shock] machine.. the intense pain.. so severe". Another female detainee, kindergarden teacher, testified "the interrogation went on for hours.. they punched me in the stomach.. and a female soldier repeatedly kicked me in the head until I lost consciousness.. when i awoke I found myself in a cell, chained to a bed and bleeding.. after I was examined by a doctor they found internal bleeding in my kidneys..".

Heba was also taken to Megiddo where young Palestinian father Arafat Jaradat, accused of throwing a stone, was tortured to death. Shin Bet claimed he had died of a heart attack but the autopsy carried out at the National Israeli Forensic Medicine Center showed no sign of heart failure or any other illness, but revealed broken bones and found his whole body was covered in "strong and excessive bruising".. "under the skin inside the muscle and along the spine at the bottom of the neck deep inside the tissue". The autopsy determined the cause of death as "nervous shock as a result of extreme pain from the intensity of the injuries, which resulted from multiple direct and extensive acts of torture".
Currently Heba is caged at Al Jalame which is infamous for its tiny "hole in the ground cells" three floors below the surface where children are often caged. A grandmother caged at Al Jalame described it as "I feel I was in the cell, death, in all sense of the word" [ like a coffin].

Heba, in a statement to her lawyer said "What I suffered in the interrogation and the detention conditions of cruelty and atrocity, I felt that this might be just imagination, but I lived it. It is abnormal and unjust, where I heard about their treatment but it is different from the reality. This experience is the greatest injustice to humanity, thus, we prefer death rather than humiliation."



Vigil outside UK Parliament demands freedom for tortured Palestinian woman hunger striker Heba Labadi



Vigil outside UK Parliament demands freedom for tortured Palestinian woman hunger striker Heba Labadi



Vigil outside UK Parliament demands freedom for tortured Palestinian woman hunger striker Heba Labadi


Vigil outside UK Parliament demands freedom for tortured Palestinian woman hunger striker Heba Labadi

ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION


When all the torture failed to secure a false confession, they told her "we do not have any evidence against you, but we have the administrative detention with the authority to renew it for seven years and a half, and then we will detain you in the West Bank and prevent you from going to Jordan and deprive you of family visits". On 24th September Heba was slapped with a six month Administration Detention order.

Administrative Detention is a practice whereby Israel arbitrarily imprisons Palestinians, often children, without charge or trial indefinitely on rolling 6 month detention orders. It is often used to jail Palestinians when there is no evidence for a trial, or as punishment. Palestinian prisoners have described administrative detention as "mental slaughter" as there is no charge so no way for them to defend themselves; and there is no indication of how long they will be imprisoned. As they complete one 6 month detention order and get ready to leave the prison with their family waiting at the gates, another detention order may be issued - some prisoners have been on rolling administrative detention orders on and off for 11 years!

Since 2000 Israel has issued over 26,000 administrative detention orders against Palestinians. In May 2016 the United Nations Committee Against Torture demanded Israel end its practice of AD. Today well over 400 Palestinians, including children, are caged under administrative detention orders.

HUNGER STRIKE FOR FREEDOM


Two days after receiving a 6 month administrative detention order, on 26th September, Heba started her hunger strike to protest her unjust treatment. Today is day 30 of her hunger strike. After 20 days of hunger strike she had already lost nearly 10 Kg in weight and now after two months, her health condition is very precarious. Having depleted the body's glucose, and processed her body fat into energy, her body has entered "starvation mode" whereby the body "mines" the muscles and vital organs for energy, this is life-threatening. Last week, after a visit, her lawyer reported that Heba is suffering severe heart problems, dizziness, and difficulty speaking, with significant weight loss.

As punishment for her hunger strike Heba has been moved to Israel's notorious Al Jalame dungeon and caged in isolation in a tiny damp underground cell infested with cockroaches.. no furniture, empty apart from a filthy sheet, 4 cameras spying on her at all times, she is still in the same cloths from over a month ago.

Despite all the pressure to end her hunger strike, Heba is defiant, she insists "I will continue until the end [of Administrative Detention] or I shall die."


VIGIL - MESSAGE TO THE PUBLIC

When governments donít act it is left to ordinary people like us to do something, itís our responsibility to put pressure on governments. We are here to ask your help in helping save Hebaís life. Write to your MPs asking them to intervene to save a young womanís life, to pressure the Israeli government to free a woman who hasnít been charged with any crime, let alone given an opportunity to defend herself at trial, and yet has been tortured, caged and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment!

Thank you

Free Heba Labadi!
Free Palestine!



Vigil outside UK Parliament demands freedom for tortured Palestinian woman hunger striker Heba Labadi


Free Heba Labadi leaflet (front)



Free Heba Labadi leaflet (back)

GALLERY


#

Source: www.inminds.com


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