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Released Palestinian political prisoner details alleged torture by Israeli forces

PALESTINIAN student and political prisoner Samah Jaradat has spoken out about her alleged torture during a month of interrogation by Israeli security services at a notorious Jerusalem detention centre.

Her family told Quds News that she had been subjected to 22 days of abuse during her interrogation, including a forced strip search, sleep deprivation and psychological torture.

The Bir Zeit University sociology student was seized from the family home in Al-Bireh at 3am on September 7 2019 during a raid by Israeli soldiers.

She was initially accused of involvement in a roadside bombing but when it was clear there was no evidence of this, the focus shifted to her student activism.

Ms Jaradet’s friend and fellow student Mays Abu Ghosh recently described similar treatment at the hands of her Israeli captors, as detailed in the Morning Star.

According to the Addameer Prisoner Support & Human Rights Association, hundreds of Palestinian university students are held in Israeli jails, including some 80 from Bir Zeit alone.

Ms Jaradat’s father explained that she was blindfolded and cuffed before being transferred to the Moskobiyeh detention centre in Jerusalem.

“At the beginning of her interrogation at Moskobiyeh, the jailers strip-searched Samah and kept her in the room for five consecutive hours without anyone else present before beginning the interrogation.” he said. She was blocked from seeing a lawyer for 22 days, he added.

Israeli interrogators threatened to keep her in jail for the rest of her life and took her to a room where cries of pain were heard from speakers: she was told they were the sounds of Palestinian prisoners being tortured.

“Samah has a strong personality and a deep concern for the Palestinian national cause. She loves her family very much. These are qualities that always make us proud, and we hope to see her free very soon,” he said.

The Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network has urged students to stage solidarity actions around the world and hold vigils to highlight the struggle of Palestinian students and demand their immediate release.

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