Three Leading Palestinian Women Prisoner Activists Arrested

Press Release – International Solidarity Movement

Leena Jawabreh, Linan Abu Ghoulmeh and Myassar Atyani, three Palestinian activists and former prisoners were seized by the Israeli police at 10:00 pm on the evening of August 15 while visiting a friend, former prisoner Woroud Qasem, in the 1948 occupied areas of Palestine. All three are leading campaigners and activists for Palestinian prisoners and are from Nablus district. Their detention was extended at a hearing on August 19.

Woroud Qasem, who is from Tira area and holds Israeli citizenship, was released at 2:00 am on Friday and placed under house arrest until a hearing on August 19, her drivers’ license was confiscated. 

Linan Abu Ghoulmeh is a former political prisoner who was held in Israeli prisons for over five years from 2004 until 2009, when she was released in a prisoner exchange; she was then re-arrested in July 2010, when she was imprisoned until the October 2011 prisoner exchange.

Myassar Atyani, a leading prisoners’ rights activist, was repeatedly subject to arrests in the 1980s and 1990s. She has been one of the leading organizers of campaigns in solidarity with the prisoners, and particularly the hunger strikers. Atyani has spoken internationally on Palestinian prisoners on numerous occasions, including addressing the 2012 U.S. National Lawyers Guild convention via Skype. See one of her interviews here.

Leena Jawabreh served four years in Israeli prisons until her release on July 16, 2008. She has organized multiple actions and solidarity hunger strikes in support of Palestinian prisoners, in particular women prisoners.

All are currently being held in Hasharon prison. A hearing was held on their case on Monday, August 19, in which the detention of Linan Abu Ghoulmeh and Myassar Atyani was extended for 7 days and the detention of Leena Jawabreh was extended for 4 days.

We know these women have many friends, allies and comrades around the world who will rally to support them and demand their freedom. Their detention is clearly an attempt to stop their political work and advocacy for the rights of Palestinian prisoners and the rights of the Palestinian people. They are grassroots leaders and human rights defenders, and beloved members of their community – and of the international community of people of conscience.

Please take action today:

1. Send a letter  to Israeli officials urging the immediate release of Linan Abu Ghoulmeh, Myassar Atyani and Leena Jawabreh.

2. Join a protest or demonstration outside an Israeli consulate for Palestinian prisoners. Join one or announce your own. Organizing an event, action or forum on Palestinian prisoners on your city or campus? Use this form to contact us and we will post the event widely. If you need suggestions, materials or speakers for your event, please contact us at

3. Contact your government officials and demand they put pressure on Israel to free Leena Jawabreh, Linan Abu Ghoulmeh and Myassar Atyani. In Canada, Call the office of John Baird, Foreign Minister, and demand an end to Canadian support for Israel and justice for Palestinian prisoners, at : 613-990-7720; Email: In the US, call the office of Elizabeth Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs (1.202.647.7209). Demand that Elizabeth Jones bring this issue urgently to her counterparts in Israel.

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