Right to Education Campaign holds third installment of Know Your Rights series

Birzeit University’s Right to Education Campaign conducted its third event in the Know Your Rights discussion series on June 7, 2022, and held on the university campus, highlighting the rights of prisoners in Israeli detention.

Former prisoners and Birzeit University students Ruba Assi and Saleh Abu Zaid shared their experiences and shed light on the violations exacted in Israeli prisons and the daily suffering that prisoners endure. Assi and Abu Zaid explained how the Israeli military attempts multiple times to break the prisoners’ will and steadfastness, from the moment of their arrest, by hitting, insulting and humiliating them.

They also explained how the Israeli military does not use any official warrants to detain the students. Students arrested from a military checkpoint are entitled a call to their parents to inform them of their arrest.

When transferring prisoners throughout the detention network, they must pass through Mia’abar, a temporary detention center with extremely poor living conditions. Prisoners stay for up to a month at Mia’abar before being relocated to other detention centers, they added.

Assi and Abu Zaid talked about mini grocery shops inside the prison, where water, oil and sugar is sold to the prisoners. The grocery shops lack basic necessities, like bath sponges or menstrual hygiene products. The Israeli occupation, according to the prisoners, closes the grocery shop as a punitive measure to deprive Palestinian prisoners of their slightest needs.

At the end of the discussion, Assi and Abu Zaid emphasized the prisoners' persistence and defiance by continuing their educations and developing their skills in various fields while detained.