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13-Year Old Girl in Prison for a Month

Two girls, aged 13 and 16, have been in prison for a month after they entered Sa-Nur in the Shomron. They are jailed with drug addicts and their parents are banned from bringing them books.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 1/30/2006, 12:06 PM / Last Update: 1/30/2006, 1:37 PM

The girls were arrested last month when they entered the northern Shomron areas from which Israel "disengaged" last summer.

For the past week, the Prison Service has not allowed the girls to receive fresh clothes from their parents. The mother of 13-year-old S., who is only in 8th grade, said, "The [Prison Service] told the girls that they would not allow them to have the clothes even when we come to visit them." The mother also said that she brought school books and a calculator for math work for her daughter, and these too were not permitted in.

MK Gila Finkelstein (National Religious Party) intervened and asked that the girls be moved to a drug-free wing in Nvei Tirtzah Women's Prison. A Prison Service official told her that they were already in the drug-free "Savion" wing - but she was later informed by the girls' parents that they were not in "Savion."

The girls also suffer discrimination in that they are not permitted more than an hour of "yard time" - even though the policy for those who have been incarcerated "until the end of the proceedings" is not to restrict their yard time.

The 16-year-old has been imprisoned several times over the past few months for similar activities. "She works with my daughter on her school work," said the father of the 13-year-old, "and we are thankful that at least they are together."

The girls were arrested together with 18 others, mostly adults, who agreed to deposit sums of between 1,000 and 4,000 shekels for their release. The two girls, however, refuse to recognize the courts' right to try them on charges of walking freely in the Land of Israel, and refuse to agree to any restrictions. The mother of one of the girls recently sat in prison herself for a month, refusing to recognize the court's right to restrict her movements, until she was abruptly released unconditionally.

Another hearing is to be held on Wednesday.

Atty. Yitzchak Bam said that under the circumstances, the girls should be indicted as quickly as possible, "otherwise they might end up sitting in prison more than their 'crimes' warrant."

Bam said that the Prison Service is in violation of the regulations in not permitting the girls to receive books and clothing. "Prisoners may be deprived of rights only if they violate prison rules, but there must be a disciplinary hearing first," Bam said.

It was learned this morning that clothes were finally permitted to be brought in, but not books.