Press Releases

CAIR Demands State Department’s Intervention to Ensure Hunger-Striking U.S. Citizen Held in West Bank Is Not Tortured Further

(WASHINGTON, DC, 12/7/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on the U.S. Department of State to ensure that the rights of Suha Badran Darjbara, who is currently detained in Jericho, Palestine, are respected and she is not subjected to further torture.

Darjbara is an American citizen and mother of three who expected to return next year with her children to New Jersey, where they previously lived.

[NOTE: CAIR attorneys are representing Darjbara’s family]

SEE: CAIR Letter to State Department

Last month, Darjbara was arrested by authorities in Jericho, Palestine. Since her arrest, Darjbara’s sister and father have been able to visit her, and during these visits, her family learned of her torture and saw bruises and markings on various parts of her body. 

Darjbara told her family that she had been severely beaten on her chest and back, shaken and slammed against the wall, and threatened with sexual violence. Authorities also showed Darjbara other individuals who were in the process of being tortured. As a result of this treatment and the apparently indefinite nature of her detention, Darjbara has been on hunger strike for more than a week.

SEE: Former New Jersey Resident on Hunger Strike in Palestinian Jail

Her family was not provided with any information regarding her arrest. The family recently learned that authorities denied Darjbara access to her attorney and coerced her into signing documents under physical and psychological duress.

SEE Amnesty International’s Report: Social Justice Activist on Hunger Strike

Darjbara and her three American citizen children, ages 8, 10 and 12, had plans to return to their home in New Jersey at the end of the school year. She had renewed her children’s passports in preparation for their return home. Her children were excited to return to school in the United States.

“We demand confirmation that Ms. Darjbara’s rights are being respected and that she is not being tortured in detention,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri. “Americans should feel safe knowing they can travel under the protection of the United States government.” 

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425,; CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784,


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