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UA 203/18
Abgeschlossen am 7. Dezember 2018

Social justice activist on hunger strike

AI-Index: MDE 15/9478/2018

Suha Jbara has been on hunger strike since 22 November in protest against her detention and torture by Palestinian security forces. Her next court hearing is scheduled for 6 December 2018.

On 3 November at 8pm, Suha Jbara was arrested by Palestinian security forces from her home in Turmusaya near Ramallah in the West Bank, and taken to Jericho Detention and Interrogation Center used by the Joint Security Committee.

According to her lawyers, Mohannad Karajah and Thafer Sa’ayda, Suha Jbara was in interrogation for three consecutive days during which she alleges she was tortured by several male interrogators. She told her lawyers that she was severely beaten on her chest and back, shaken and slammed against the wall, and threatened with sexual violence. She also told her lawyers that interrogators would take her around the detention center and point to other, male, detainees put in stress positions with their heads covered and show her torture tools including ropes, chains, and batons, all as a form of threat. Her father Badran Jbara, 56, visited her in prison on 21 November. He told Amnesty International that his daughter showed him bruises on her body as a result of beating. Suha has been held in solitary confinement since arriving at the Jericho Prison.

During a closed court session on 22 November, Suha Jbara announced she started a hunger strike in protest against her detention and ill-treatment, and stated her intention to continue it until she is released. A request from her lawyer for her to be examined by a forensic doctor to check her claims of torture during interrogation was rejected. She has been taken to the Jericho hospital twice since she started the hunger strike and each time returned to prison. Her lawyers are denied access to the casefile which is held by the Attorney General.


Suha Jbara, 31, who is primary carer for three children, is a Palestinian, US, and Panamanian citizen. She is a social justice activist and involved with Islamic charities. She also works to support the families of Palestinian prisoners in Israel. On 3 November she was arrested from her home in Turmusaya. Her family said that five Palestinian security forces vehicles arrived at her family home and demanded to enter, threatening to break the door. She was taken to the General Intelligence detention center in Ramallah where she experienced a mental and physical crisis and collapsed. She was admitted briefly to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah and then taken to the Jericho Interrogation and Detention Center. No female security officials were present during the arrest or interrogation. Her whereabouts were unknown to her family until 7 November when she was brought to court.

On 7 November, Suha Jbara was presented to the Jericho Magistrate Court where her detention was extended for 15 days. She was then transferred to Jericho Prison. Prosecutors from the Attorney General’s office questioned Suha Jbara and recorded her testimony on 5 November at the Jericho Detention and Interrogation Center. According to her lawyers, the prosecutors took her testimony in the presence of armed security officials in the room. She was not allowed to read her testimony before having to sign it.

Suha Jbara has a heart condition and has was taken to the hospital at least three times during her detention; the first time on the night of her arrest when she collapsed upon arriving at the General Intelligence detention center in Ramallah, and two other times to the Jericho Hospital after she started the hunger strike. Her lawyers have a copy of the medical report from that first hospital visit but were not allowed to see the reports from the subsequent hospital visits in Jericho. 

Amnesty International has documented that Palestinian forces in the West Bank and Gaza continue to arrest arbitrarily peaceful demonstrators and critics of both authorities. Among those arrested and detained are journalists, university students, critics and human rights activists. Amnesty is concerned that many of these arrests are arbitrary and that judicial proceedings do not meet fair trial standards. Amnesty is also gravely concerned about Palestinian security forces systematic use of torture and ill-treatment against detainees with impunity, despite the State of Palestine’s ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture on 29 December 2017. Palestinian ombudsmen, The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), receives hundreds of torture and other ill-treatment complaints against Palestinian security forces each year; more than 200 complaints were received until October this year. 

Name: Suha Jbara (f)

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