Date of birth: 5 June 1980
Place of residence: Beit Furik, Nablus
Date of arrest: 15 July 2010
Place of detention: Damon Prison
Number of detention orders: Three
Expected end of current administrative detention order: 25 January 2012
Date of release: Linan was released on 18 October 2011 as part of the prisoner exchange deal concluded by the Israeli government and Hamas authorities
ARREST AND ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION
Linan Abu Ghulmeh was taken from Burin village with her sister Taghreed in the early morning hours of 15 July, when Israeli Forces stormed the area and surrounded the house they were staying in. Linan and Taghreed had not long been asleep at their sister Lubna’s house after a day of working at Linan’s beauty salon when soldiers arrived at 2.30 a.m. They ransacked the house without explanation and without a search warrant, whilst the whole family were ordered to stay in one room, causing panic especially among the young children who were present. An intelligence officer then proceeded to interrogate Linan in a separate room, followed by her sister Taghreed. At approximately 4 a.m., the Israeli soldiers loaded Linan and Taghreed into separate military vehicles and took them to Huwarra detention center, located at the southern entrance to Nablus on the road to Ramallah. That same night, a raid in Linan’s village of Beit Furik resulted in seven members of her family being arrested.
Interrogation at Petah Tikva
At 7 a.m. the same day Linan was moved to Petah Tikva detention and interrogation center, 11km east of Tel Aviv, where she was subjected to intensive interrogation by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) for 40 days. During this time she was placed in solitary confinement where her interrogation would start at 6pm and continue until early morning the following day, when she would be allowed to sleep for 3 or 4 hours before being subjected to the same procedure again. She was given only 10 minutes to eat food at mealtimes. The focus of the questioning was on her time in Syria, with ISA interrogators accusing her of going there for military training and to meet with leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Linan has always maintained that she was in Syria for a 6 month training course in cosmetics and skin care and that she was doing this in order to build a better life for herself after a previous prison sentence which ended with the negotiated release of 20 female prisoners in 2009.
Linan’s sister, who has now been released, has described to Addameer how she and her sister were treated after their arrest. They were not allowed to see each other throughout their interrogation, and the first time they met each other was 25 days after their arrest, in a room in Salem court where Taghreed was attending her hearing. According to Taghreed:
Linan’s hands and feet were tied and it was clear that she had been deprived of sleep and was in poor health. She must have lost at least 10 kilos, and she looked very tired.
The two sisters were put in the same room where the ISA, in an effort to force a confession out of Linan, blamed her for Taghreed’s detention and for the fate of the rest of her family, warning her that she would stay in prison for a long time and would never be allowed to see her sister. The sisters were then taken to a bus used for transporting prisoners where they were left alone for some time, an apparent ploy to get them to talk more and divulge incriminating information. These vehicles are also known for holding listening devices. After this incident the two sisters did not see each other again.
At the start of her interrogation, Linan was told she could not see a lawyer. On 18 July the ISA extended this decision until 2 August, claiming that communication with a lawyer may interfere with their investigations. On 3 August the ISA allowed a lawyer to visit Linan after Addameer filed pre-petition papers to the Office of the State Attorney preparing to appeal this decision. Linan had thus been held incommunicado for 19 days without any legal checks or monitoring of the methods of interrogation used by the ISA.
Administrative detention order
On 25 August, the Israeli Military Commander Nitzan Alon issued Linan with her first six month administrative detention order, which was confirmed the following day at a judicial review at Ofer Military Court. It was originally set to end on 25 February, but the Addameer lawyer representing Linan contested this on the grounds that it did not take into account the 40 days of interrogation since her arrest on 15 July. The detention order was then adjusted, although it still failed to fully take into account this interrogation period, and was set to end on 26 January 2011. On this date the order was renewed by the Military Court for another 6 months, to end on 25 July 2011. On 25 July, her order was again renewed for another 6 months, due to expire on 25 January 2012.
On confirming the first administrative detention order on 26 August, Judge Dalia Kaufman justified the decision by saying that based on a ‘secret file’ not made available to Addameer it was clear that Linan posed a serious security threat. Addameer submits that if the authorities had evidence supporting the accusations against her, Linan could have been charged under military orders and tried in the military courts immediately after her interrogation. It instead appears that Linan’s arrest was a calculated effort to circumvent the negotiated female prisoner release in 2009 and keep Linan in prison. Furthermore, even those accused by Israel of ‘security’ offences should still be protected by minimum judicial guarantees in accordance with international law, including the right to a fair trial in a legally constituted, independent and impartial court. Although administrative detention orders issued by the Israeli military commander are the subject of review and further appeal by a military court, neither lawyers nor detainees are permitted to see the “secret information” used as a basis for the detention orders, which serves to weaken the position of any meaningful legal defense.
An appeal against Linan’s detention was launched by Addameer and heard in the Military Court on 28 August, and rejected on that same day. However as it was a closed hearing Addameer was only informed that it had been rejected on 6 September.
Linan is one of four female administrative detainees as of 1 February 2011. There are in total 37 women detained in Israeli prisons, who are regularly subjected to beatings, insults, threats, sexual harassment and humiliation inflicted by Israeli interrogators to intimidate them and coerce them into confession. The prisons in which they are detained are also lacking in any services addressing women’s needs, and women are regularly denied visits from family members.
In Linan’s case, instead of being held with other administrative detainees, she was placed in a section of Hasharon used for Israeli female criminal prisoners, exposing her to increased verbal abuse. She was also denied the possibility of being in the same prison as her sister Taghreed, who was detained at Damon, in contravention of Article 82 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which provides for family members who are detained to be lodged together in the same place of internment. The ISA informed Linan that she could not be held with her sister for undefined ‘security reasons’. In protest of this measure, Linan started a hunger strike on 26 October. The Israeli Prison Service responded by moving her to isolation two days later, where she stayed until 19 December. During this time, on 2 November, Linan’s mother tried to visit but was denied access to her daughter as she was still in isolation, despite already being given permission to visit by the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank. On 19 December, Linan broke her hunger strike after being promised that she would be transferred to Damon Prison. However, when this did not occur, Linan continued with a partial hunger strike, accepting only one meal per day. She was eventually transferred from Hasharon to Damon prison on 13 January.
Israeli Occupying Forces arrested Linan on 9 September 2004 when she was on her way to Ramallah. During her interrogation Linan was subjected to severe and inhumane treatment which caused pain in her stomach requiring her to be transferred to hospital for treatment. She was sentenced by the military court to six years imprisonment and three years suspended sentence, on charges of planning "with others" for a military attack that in the event didn’t take place.
Linan was released on 2 October 2009, following a deal brokered by German and Egyptian mediators which secured the release of 20 Palestinian female prisoners in exchange for a video proving that Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants in June 2006, was alive.
In the ensuing months before she was again arrested, Linan had attempted to establish a career in hair dressing and beauty treatment. Her family helped her to set up a beauty salon in Burin, where she lived with her sister Lubna. When Linan decided she would like to expand her business to include cosmetic and skin care and open a salon in Nablus, she enrolled on a specialized course on beauty treatment at an institute in Syria. The course ran from January to June 2010.
Linan was unable to fulfill her career ambitions; shortly after her return from Syria Israeli forces raided Burin, and arrested her and Taghreed.
Linan is the third among four sisters and seven brothers raised in the village of Beit Furik, Nablus district. She completed her secondary education there and shortly afterwards, in 1998, she married Amjad Mulaitat. Linan and her extended family have been regular targets of the Israeli Occupying Forces since raids on villages and mass arrests escalated following the start of the Second Intifada in 2000. Linan’s husband’s brother was placed under administrative detention during this time, and on the 6 July 2004 Linan’s husband was killed by the Occupying Forces. Sixty four days later Linan was arrested and subsequently imprisoned for five years. Her brother Ahed was arrested 14 March 2006 and is currently serving a life sentence and five years. Despite the suffering these incidence caused Linan, she maintained her hope for a better life and continued with efforts to establish a career in hair and beauty treatment until being arrested again on 15 July 2010.
Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on secret evidence without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. In the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli army is authorized to issue administrative detention orders against Palestinian civilians on the basis of Military Order 1591. This order empowers military commanders to detain an individual for up to six month renewable periods if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.” On or just before the expiry date, the detention order is frequently renewed. This process can be continued indefinitely.
Here is how you can help Linan Abu Ghulmeh:
- Send Linan letters of support to her postal address in prison
- Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand that Linan be released immediately and that her administrative detention not be renewed.
- Write to your own elected representatives urging them to pressure Israel to release Linan and to put an end to Israel’s unlawful, arbitrary and cruel system of incarceration without trial.
For more information about administrative detention and Addameer’s Campaign to Stop Administrative Detention please visit our campaign page