Shireen Issawi, Winner of 2014 Alkarama Award for Human Rights Defenders
The charges against Issawi are violations of the rights of lawyers to represent their clients; they also attempt to criminalize support for prisoners from their political parties, as well as the communication of prisoners to the outside world. As Issawi wrote in a letter from prison in 2014, “I am a lawyer, I have the right and duty to defend our prisoners. To stand for their rights is not unlawful.”
In December 2014, while still in prison, Issawi received the 2014 Alkarama Award for Human Rights Defenders. She was recognised for her courageous work in monitoring and documenting human rights violations committed by the Israeli authorities against Palestinian prisoners and advocating for their rights.
UPDATE: On Monday, March 7, 2016, the Israeli Central Court sentenced Shireen Issawi to four years in prison. At the time of sentencing, she had already been imprisoned for two years. At the same hearing, the Central Court ordered an eight year prison sentence to Shireen’s brother, Medhat Issawi.