Palestinian student Lina Khattab released from Israeli prison

Palestinian student Lina Khattab released from Israeli prison
2 min read
12 June, 2015
Israeli authorities have released the student and folk dancer after six months in Israel's notorious Ofer prison - to the delight of her supporters.
Lina Khattab, Palestinian student, has been released from Israeli prison [Facebook]
Lina Khattab, a Birzeit University student who attracted global attention after her arrest by Israeli authorities, has been released after spending six months in the notorious Ofer prison.

Khattab, a folk dancer, was accused of throwing stones while participating in a demonstration. She was arrested at a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners on 13 December, 2014.

In February, Khattab was handed six months' jail time and fined 6,000 NIS ($1560).

In an interview with the Al-Quds news agency in December, Lina's mother, Sameera Shaladeh, said that her daughter told her about being beaten when she was arrested. She added that Lina was tortured in prison, deprived from sleep and made to stand against a wall in the rain and cold.

On a Facebook page that was set up to demand Khattab's release, administrators and supporters congratulated the student on her release and posted images documenting the moment.

One post shows a picture of Lina with her mother, and quotes the mother, saying: "The truth is that the Palestinian people want to recover their homeland and achieve freedom for their people, and Lina is a part of this truth, rejecting steadfastly all of this violence against our people."

On Twitter, people used the hashtag #LinaKhattab to express their relief over the news of her release and shared a video, in Arabic, showing the moment she was released.

"Freedom to all detainees, from the youngest cub to the oldest person," shouts Khattab in the video. "I carry a message of steadfastness - and defiance to the jailer."

According to Defence for Children International-Palestine, around 500-700 Palestinian children are arrested, detained and prosecuted by the Israeli military court system each year.

A report by Unicef, updated in February, on the treatment of children in Israeli military detention, found that children were being mistreated in a widespread and systematic manner.

The report provides testimonials by children reporting having been blindfolded and hand-cuffed during arrest, and subjected to physical violence and verbal abuse during arrest, interrogation and/or detention. Some 28 children reported being held in solitary confinement in detention sites, while under interrogation by the Israeli army.