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Health of woman human rights defender Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh deteriorating

Status: 
Health Deteriorating
About the situation

Court hearings that were scheduled for  17th and 20th January 2022 at Ofer Mlitary Court, for woman human rights defender Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh have been postponed. The reason for the postponements was neither given to the woman human rights defenders lawyers nor to her family but the family have learned from other sources that it  was due to the fact that Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh has contracted COVID and is in isolation. The health condition of the woman human right defender remain unknown. She is currently detained in Damoun Female Prison in Haifa, with her next hearingdue to take place on 1 February.

 

About the HRD

Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh is a woman human rights defender and the Director of the Health Work Committee, an organisation working to deliver health services to Palestinians in remote areas of the West Bank. The health organisation focuses on many issues including women’s and children’s health.

19 January 2022
Health of woman human rights defender Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh deteriorating

Court hearings that were scheduled for  17th and 20th January 2022 at Ofer Mlitary Court, for woman human rights defender Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh have been postponed. The reason for the postponements was neither given to the woman human rights defenders lawyers nor to her family but the family have learned from other sources that it  was due to the fact that Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh has contracted COVID and is in isolation. The health condition of the woman human right defender remain unknown. She is currently detained in Damoun Female Prison in Haifa, with her next hearingdue to take place on 1 February.

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Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh is a woman human rights defender and the Director of the Health Work Committee, an organisation working to deliver health services to Palestinians in remote areas of the West Bank. The health organisation focuses on many issues including women’s and children’s health.

Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh's  family were not officially notified of the reason for the postponement of thehearings, but through sources they have learned that she has contracted COVID-19 and is currently in isolation. Over the past three months, Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh family were only able to contact her on the phone twice, respectively on 13 December 2021 and on 4 January 2022. They are not being kept informed of her health and well-being, which causes great concern to them as she is older and suffers from underlying health conditions, including hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes mellitus, and irritable bowel syndrome. They have to rely on Facebook post from lawyers visiting the prison to hear about the  general well being of the woman human rights defender.  Israeli Prison have authorities denied Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh request for one of her medications and was only given access to it on 15th July 2021 after her lawyer presented a report explaining its importance. Since the start of her detention, Shatha Odeh Abu Fannounehhas lost about twenty kilos.

In the early hours of 7 July 2021, Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh was forcibly and arbitrarily removed from her house in Ramallah, Palestine, and has remained in detention since. On 26 July 2021, during the third hearing of Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh the military prosecution presented five charges against her including “holding a position in an unlawful association”, “presence in a public event on 14 May 2019”, “receiving and bringing funds illegally into the area”, “receiving funds and support fraudulently” and “the fraudulent use of documents”. The charges brought against the woman human rights defender are linked to an announcement by the Israeli military commander on 22 January 2020, in which he stated that the HWC was an “unlawful organisation”.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned regarding the heath of of Shatha Odeh Abu Fannouneh. and believes that the detention of the woman human rights defender is solely based on her peaceful and legitimate human rights work, and that the charges against her reflect both an escalating policy by Israeli authorities of criminalizing Palestinian human rights defenders and organisations on terrorism-related charges.