#FreedomForJuana

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Juana Ruiz Sánchez

Humanitarian health worker in Palestine imprisoned without trial, charges, or evidences since April 13, 2021 by the Israeli state.

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MANIFESTO FOR THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF JUANA RUIZ SÁNCHEZ, A HUMANITARIAN HEALTH WORKER IN PALESTINE, IMPRISONED BY ISRAEL

The undersigned, organizations and people involved in solidarity in our country, want to convey to the public opinion and Institutions the great concern we have for the situation of Juana Ruiz Sánchez, a Spanish citizen living in Palestine for more than 35 years, who works as a Project Coordinator at the Palestinian health organization Health Work Committees. Juana has been arbitrarily detained and imprisoned by the Israeli State for the past 156 days with no specific charge, allegedly on the grounds that she should be interrogated.

Juana’s detention took place on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at 5:45 a.m. when more than 20 heavily armed Israeli soldiers showed up at her family's home, in the West Bank town of Beith Sahour, near the city of Bethlehem. They intimidated Juana, her Palestinian husband and her mother-in-law who lives in her family home, and then they took Juana Ruiz Sánchez for interrogation. Thus, it is a very long interrogation that will continue for three more days, until Monday, April 26 by the decision of the judge who is handling the case. Depending on the judge's decision, she will be deprived of her liberty for 13 days, with no definite charges.

Previously, on March 8, 2021, at dawn the Israeli army raided the Head Quarters of the Health Work Committees (HWC), the health organization where Juana works, in the city of Al Bireh, arresting the Head of the Department of HWC Accounting, Tayseer Abu Sharbak, who is still in prison, along with computers and documentation funded by Spanish donors, related to the humanitarian work that HWC carries out in collaboration with international organizations, including several NGOs from the Spanish State.

Saeed Abbad, who currently has no work relationship with HWC, but was responsible for the Accounting Department until 2 years ago, is also in custody.

This Manifesto also intends to appeal for the release of both of them, who are also under administrative detention.

These alarming events make us believe that those responsible for the arrests seek to demonstrate some type of crime related to the financing of the projects carried out by the HWC with the intention of involving Juana Ruiz in this allegation.

The undersigned consider that it is impossible that the projects financed by the cooperation in our country could have any criminal overtones due to compliance with the Spanish cooperation, which is mostly public, requires the carrying out of the planned activities and the complete justification of the financing of the different projects that have been carried out with our support.

The HWC has carried out dozens of health and social projects with the help of our country’s cooperation. These are activities such as providing health prevention to the West Bank villages, vaccinating children in East Jerusalem, which the Israeli Government has systematically refused to vaccinate, assisting prenatal and natal health to women in the West Bank, conducting information campaigns and training in countless health-related issues, on health habits or the prevention of the most common diseases in the area, treating 40% of its patients free of charge in the 14 HWC clinics throughout the territory under the Palestinian Authority, and other similar activities that could hardly be considered as criminal in any way. Despite HWC’s humanitarian and healthcare mandate, or perhaps precisely because of that, the organization is being targeted intermittently by the State of Israel under a policy of repression, attrition and dismantling of Palestinian civil society organizations.

With this MANIFESTO:

  • We demand the immediate release of Juana Ruiz Sánchez.
  • We also demand the release of the rest of the people detained in the course of this new harassment operation against the HWC organization.
  • We demand that the State of Israel comply withInternational Humanitarian Law and Human Rights of the Palestinian population.
  • We urge the State of Israel to provide material reparation for the assets damaged and / or confiscated from the HWC, many of which were financed by Spanish cooperation.
  • We strongly call on the Spanish Government take action on the matter and to exert all possible political pressure to achieve the immediate release of Juana Ruiz Sánchez.

We call on all people and organizations that fight for human rights, in general, and for the rights of the Palestinian people, in particular, to join this Manifesto and hereby demand the immediate release of Juana Ruiz Sánchez and of her imprisoned HWC colleagues.

Manifesto is signed by 91 public people, including:
Manifesto is also supported by 216 organizations, including:
6670 people is supporting us, including:

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Her story over the time

1985

Juana moves to Gaza, Palestine

During this period she witnessed everything that happened in the first intifada.

1991

Juana moves to West Bank, Palestine

Juana, her husband and their 2 child were settle in Beit-Sahour.

1993

Juana starts working for Health Work Committe

She started her participation as humanitarian project coordinator for palestinian people.

1995

First colaborated projects with european organizations

Juana starts the first cooperation projects with european organizations laying the foundations for future projects.

2000s

Projects with european organizations

Juana continued helping palestinians with projects like improving and promoting access to sexual and reproductive health for women (2007) or support for maternal and child health (2009)...

2010s

Projects with european organizations

On this period Juana worked on projects like wood carving workshops for people with disabilities(2013), or emergency assistance for vulnerable populations in the West Bank (2016) among others

2017

Opening of the first hospital in Beit-Sahour

The hospital, that has growth with more floors since its opening, started with an operating room for minor operations that didn't require admission.

Apr 13

Juana was imprisoned

The Israeli army enters her home and imprison her without trial or charge.

Today

Juana remains imprisoned

Juana still imprisoned for 156 days.