ANHAR AL-DEEK, the Palestinian woman who was set to give birth in an Israeli prison, has been released to house arrest in a victory for her campaign.
Israel’s Ofer military court in the occupied West Bank agreed to release her conditionally on Thursday and imposed a bail of $12,500.
She will have to stay in her family home in the village of Kafr Nima, northwest of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.
Al-Deek thanked supporters after her release.
‘Only a detainee who has been freed, after experiencing incarceration can understand how I am feeling right now,’ she said.
This came following appeals by human rights defenders and the Palestinian Authority’s commission for prisoners, as well as growing outrage among Palestinians.
Last Thursday, a group of Palestinian human rights organisations sent an appeal through the United Nations calling for al-Deek’s immediate release.
Al-Deek was being ‘incarcerated in Damon prison as she critically enters her ninth month of pregnancy,’ the groups stated.
‘She continues to suffer from inhuman living conditions, deliberate medical neglect – notably including lack of prenatal care – deteriorating health conditions and high-risk pregnancy.’
Had she not been released, al-Deek faced the prospect of giving birth by Caesarean section in coming days while shackled to a bed, as other Palestinian women detained by Israel have done before her.
She would also have faced the prospect of ‘raising her newborn in Israeli prisons under conditions amounting to torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment,’ the human rights groups said.
Prior to the decision to release al-Deek, Israeli prison authorities had already denied requests for her mother or husband to attend the birth and had decided that she would be placed in solitary confinement before her delivery, supposedly due to Covid-19 restrictions.