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Documenting the Plight Of Palestinian Female Prisoners

A new book will recount the experiences of Palestinian women in Israeli prisons, highlighting the abuse that they faced and the challenges they have faced since being released, writes Naela Khalil.
Palestinian former women prisoners pose with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal after they were released and deported from Israeli jails and arrived in Cairo, October 18, 2011. Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinians crossed Israel's borders in opposite directions on Tuesday as a thousand-for-one prisoner exchange brought joy to families but did little to ease decades of conflict.  REUTERS/Jamal Saidi  (EGYPT - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) - RTR2ST34
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When former prisoner Aisha Awdat talks about the experiences of Palestinian women inside Israeli prisons, she delves into the details of pain and endurance. The month of March, which saw the worst of her suffering and sexual assault at the hands of her investigator, remains deeply entrenched in her soul and memories.

Awdat cannot forget the night of March 10, 1969, when she was raped with a stick by her Israeli investigator, who violated everything that is human and revealed the ugliest face of the Israeli occupation. She has documented that night and her experiences in prison in her book, titled “Dreams of Freedom,” which was published in 2004. Awdat is now the head of the association “Women Imprisoned for Freedom,” dubbed “Masira” and is keen on documenting the experiences of female prisoners.

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