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University of Haifa
[Haifa U, Law] Abeer Baker and [TAU Philosophy] Anat Matar at the Assoc. of International Development Agencies


University of Haifa, Law Faculty:

Prisoners Rights and Reentry

The Faculty is initiating a new clinic which is planned to deal with the issue of Rehabilitation of Prisoners. According to the Israeli Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority The recidivism in Israeli jails is not as high as in the western world (out of all the released prisoners only 59% are re-incarcerated within a year, as opposed to 75% in the western world). Yet much more is needed to be done in order to enable the integration of released prisoners into the society. The common factors which account for the recidivism to jails is the lack of sufficient budgets for rehabilitation programs and the urgent need for more personal support inside the community. The clinic's challenge is to reveal the legal issues that contribute to this phenomenon, such as the probation committees, decisions regarding vacations for prisoners, electrical monitoring and more.

Given the fact that 45% of the prisoners originate in the Israeli Arab minority, a much higher rate than their 20% percentage in the general population, the Clinic hopes to also make a concrete contribution in investigating the idiosyncratic difficulties of these released prisoners. Although women prisoners are only 2% of the jail population in Israel, they raise unique difficulties which should be dealt with such as the issue of incarcerated mothers.

The clinic will work closely with the “Prisoners Rehabilitation Association” and will engage in legal and para-legal support to released prisoners and prisoners on parole or in their probation period. A great emphasis will be placed on exploring policy issues to fulfil the special needs of different groups of prisoners: men and women, adults and youngsters, Jews and Arabs.

There is an academic collaboration with the Swiss university of Fribourgh, and specifically prof. Nicolas Queloz, who serves as a clinical mentor to this clinic.

For Further Information, contact Adv. Abir Bachar | abeer.baker@gmail.com

The Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA) is a membership body and coordination forum of international non-governmental and non-profit organizations (INGOs) that share a common interest in promoting appropriate development and humanitarian programs in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). AIDA seeks to support the Palestinian people’s self-development by providing a mechanism for member INGOs to work collaboratively. Its core functions are networking the relief and development assistance community, facilitating information-sharing, and promoting advocacy, security, and training.


Educational Bookshop- Discussion on the book titled: “Threat: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israel”

07 July 2011

Please join us at 6:30pm at the Educational bookshop to discuss the exceptional book of Abeer Baker and Anat Matar. The book titled “Threat: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israel” is an enlightening collection of essays written by prisoners, ex-prisoners, Human rights defenders, lawyers and academic researchers analyzing the political nature of imprisonment and Israeli attitudes towards Palestinian prisoners.

07 July 2011

Educational Bookshop would like to announce a film screening: Israel Vs Israel, an excellent film by the Swedish director Terje Carlsson. Terje alongside two peace activists (featured in the film) will be present to answer your questions; See the film trailer here. The film has recently claimed 
Al-Jazeera International Documentary Film award, the screening will take place at our venue this coming monday 11 July, starting 7pm.

23 June 2011

The Carter Center presents Abeer Baker: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israeli Jails: "A Real Threat" Tuesday, 28 June, 6:00 pmFriends Meetinghouse, Ramallah** Abeer Baker heads the Legal Clinic for Prisoners‘ 
Tuesday, 28 June, 6:00 pm Friends Meetinghouse, Ramallah**

Abeer Baker heads the Legal Clinic for Prisoners' Rights, in the Law Faculty of Haifa University, and is formerly a senior lawyer with Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (NGO).

For questions, please call 0598 200.631 or send email to fajr.harb@cartercenterme.org

** The Friends Meetinghouse is located on the Main Street in Ramallah (next to Al Natsheh Building and across from Rukab Ice Cream).

26 June 2011

To Mark International Day Against Torture, Human Rights Organizations Host Event to Launch New Book - Threat: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israel

On 21 June 2011, to mark the International Day Against Torture, Adalah and several human rights organization partners hosted an event to launch a new edited volume entitled Threat: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israel at the Cinematheque in Tel Aviv. The book, edited by former Adalah Attorney Abeer Baker and Dr. Anat Matar and published by Pluto Press, analyzes Israeli attitudes towards Palestinian prisoners and the political nature of imprisonment.

Through a series of articles written by human rights defenders, academics, and current and former prisoners, the book explores numerous experiences and images of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. It also addresses Israel's breaches of international treaties in its treatment of Palestinian prisoners, practices of torture and solitary confinement, and prisoner-exchange deals. The concept of the book developed from a conference entitled "Security Prisoners or Political Prisoners" held by Adalah, the Tel Aviv University Buchmann Faculty of Law, the Minerva Center for Human Rights, and the Taubenschlag Institute of Criminal Law in 2007.

The event was held by Adalah, The Israeli Committee for the Palestinian Prisoners, The Coalition of Women for Peace, The Public Committee against Torture in Israel, Hamoked, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and Machsom watch Observers in Military Courts.

The launch began with a screening of Hunger, a film directed by Steven McQueen that recounts the last six weeks of the life of a well-known imprisoned Irish hunger striker, Bobby Sands. The film was followed by a discussion about the criminalization of the political struggle of the Palestinians. Dr. Anat Matar opened the discussion by introducing the book and providing an overview of Israel's use of detention against Palestinians. Attorney Abeer Baker then spoke about the use of prison as a tool with which to remove human rights violations from the public sphere and obscure identity. Other participants included Attorneys Gabi Lasky and Leah Tsemel, who discussed the history of organizing prison strikes. Political activist Abdallah Abu-Rahma recounted his personal experience as a political prisoner who was held for sixteen months in an Israeli military prison.

The book has received several glowing reviews, including the following. "This is a timely and urgent volume that brings to the fore the systematic injustices endemic to the Israeli imprisonment of Palestinians. The volume not only provides extensive documentation that establishes the particular violence of the legal apparatus as it contains and disciplines arrested Palestinians, but it offers a detailed description of the widespread deviation from accepted standards of justice and procedural law. At stake throughout is the criminalisation of political protest, and this volume offers extensive evidence and analysis to resist this violent use of law." Judith Butler, UC Berkeley

"This book provides an imperative illustration of how the Israeli Occupation has imprisoned the political voices of the Palestinian people. Featuring a spectrum of authors with a range of expertise, this volume offers readers a refreshing insight into and documentation of Israel's revocation of Palestinians' right to justice. For many years, the judicial process has been turned against Palestinians, and this comprehensive analysis is essential to understand how Israel has achieved that, and how to overcome this injustice." Mustafa Barghouti

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