Update, Friday, September, 3:
Pregnant Palestinian prisoner Anhar Al-Deek, 25, was released from Israeli jails last night, September 2nd. Her release is on conditions to remain under house arrest and a financial bail of USD12, 500.
Please watch a video showing the moment when Anhar was released here.
The release of Anhar follows an international campaign of solidarity with her and calls on social media to #SaveAnhar and #FreeAnhar as her due date to give birth to her second baby is approaching.
This morning, Anhar appeared in a video at home expressing how delighted she feels as she is free saying, “finally, I can see the sky without prison bars;”
Anhar also expressed her appreciation of people who supported her and responded to her appeal to be released before delivering her baby in Israeli jails.
On August, 26, a week before the release of Anhar, we wrote:
“What shall I do if I give birth while I am away from you [Anhar’s family]? How will I go through this experience while I am in prison and alone.”
In the letter, Anhar addresses the international community appealing them to release her from jail saying, “ I implore everyone with a conscience to speak up and demand my freedom.”
Speaking about the terrible conditions of Israeli jails that will be detrimental to her and her baby’s health, Anhar adds,
“The prison is not ready for birth or rearing a child because the conditions here are incredibly poor… How would it be for a child to be born and reared here if we adults are afraid? I’m suffering from pregnancy sadness and weariness, and my bed isn’t even fit for sleeping.“
Anhar is from the village of Kufr Ni’ma, Ramallah district. The Israeli occupation forces arrested her on March 8th, 2021 near Mount Al-Raysan, where there were peaceful protests against Israeli seizure of Palestinian lands in the area.
Although she was pregnant at the moment of detention, the Israeli occupation forces brutally abused Anhar leaving bruises on her face.
Since then, Anhar has been held in custody without a trial and denied to see her family, whom she misses, especially her twenty-month-old daughter Julia, which was expressed in her latest letter:
“I miss Julia a lot. My heart hurts me for her; I wish I can embrace her and hold her close to my heart. The pain I feel cannot be translated into words.”
After giving birth to her second child, Anhar stated in the letter that Israeli jailors will hold them both in solitary confinement.
Anhar’s family has sent an appeal to rights groups to pressure the Israeli occupation authorities to release Anhar before her due date to get the medical care she needs when she gives birth to her child.
Anhar will not be the first and as Israel is not yet held accountable for its crimes against Palestinians, she will not be the last to give birth in poor medical conditions while she is handcuffed.
Along with Anhar, there are 42 female prisoners enduring ill-treatment on a daily basis in Israeli jails; some are mothers longing to be with their children, while others are sick suffering different health problems. In addition to the female prisoners, there are about 4700 male prisoners, including 200 children and 550 administrative detainees, held without a trial.
Currently, there are around five Palestinian prisoners who have been carrying out a hunger strike since weeks to protest their administrative detention and call for their immediate release.
The Israeli occupation uses mass arbitrary detention of Palestinians as a tool to repress and control the Palestinian people at large. Through this Israel suppresses Palestinians’ will to bring an end to long-standing Israeli oppression, apartheid, colonization of their lands and dehumanization.
In recent months, particularly during and in the aftermath of the Unity Uprising of May, Israel has intensified its arrest campaign of Palestinians across all the territories under its control, including Palestinian citizens of Israel. In one of its latest arrest raids on Tuesday, August 24th, the Israeli occupation killed Imad Hashash, 16, while they were violently storming Balata Refugee Camp, Nablus to arrest other Palestinians there.
The murder of Imad shows that Israeli arrest of Palestinians costs them not only their freedom and dignity but also the loss of lives.