[Ppnews] Health of Palestinian hunger strikers in jeopardy
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Dec 7 11:44:10 EST 2012
Health of Palestinian hunger strikers in jeopardy
Patrick O. Strickland
<http://www.bikyamasr.com/author/patrick-o-strickland/> | 7 December
2012 | 0 Comments
RAMALLAH: Five Palestinians are presently on hunger strike in Israeli
military prisons, an Addameer press release stated on Thursday. Three of
the hunger strikers are long timers, while another two recently joined.
Samir Al-Issawi has been on hunger strike for 127 days and has pledged
not to cease until he is freed or dies. He is suffering from a
dangerously low heart pulse rate, and was threatened by Israeli Prison
Services medical staff with a forced glucose injection, a potentially
life threatening form of treatment, before agreeing to accept medical
It was previously reported that Al-Issawi had limited ability to use his
right hand and right leg.
Al-Issawi faints regularly throughout the day. According to Addameer, on
December 1^st , "during an examination with the prison clinic doctor,
Samir tried to stand and lost consciousness. Instead of assisting him,
the doctor left him lying on the floor and exited the room."
Ayman Shawarna, 36-years-old and on hunger strike for 158 days, has
stated that he refuses to end his hunger strike unless Israeli officials
agree in print to release him.
It was reported that week that Shawarna said he is ready to "intensify"
his hunger strike, according to Ma'an News Agency. He is presently being
held in a military clinic, shackled to his hospital bed for the vast
majority of the day. Due to health conditions as a result of his strike,
he cannot sleep and has lost over 90 percent of his vision in his right eye.
Both Al-Issaw and Shawarna were released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit
prisoner swap that released 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, only to be
rearrested and placed in administrative detention, a process in which
Israel does not charge prisoners with crimes but imprisons them on the
basis of "secret evidence".
A third administrative detainee, Oday Keilani, has been on hunger strike
for 46 days. It was previously reported that he suffers from pain in
various parts of his body. His sentence was extended for an additional
four months and his lawyers are continually denied access to his case,
according to Ma'an.
An Addameer lawyer was denied a visit to Keilani this week, the press
Jazer Azzidine and Tarek Qa'adan, arrested two weeks ago in a sweeping
campaign across the West Bank, have each been on hunger strike for 8
days. Azzidine participated in a previous hunger strike.
*Hunger strikes as a method of resistance*
"Hunger strikes are pivotal for the struggle of Palestinian inmates,"
Karam, a recent computer science graduate from Zemer, told BikyaMasr.com.
He continued, "Because when you are deprived of your basic right to
dignity, to life, this is the only way to fight the cruelty. None of us
want them to starve, but we know that this is the only way to protest
and get a little bit of media attention for those living under illegal
occupation and behind bars."
"The prisoners will put our struggle in the spotlight, and it shows the
world that the stereotype of Palestinians as terrorist is unjust. Here
we have thousands of oppressed people fighting nonviolently---but the
world isn't paying attention."
As recently as November this year, 4,520 Palestinians are in Israeli
detention centers, 164 of which are children. 156 are in administrative
detention, a draconian practice in which prisoners are not charged and
"secret evidence" is used against them.
Last April Palestinian prisoners gained international notoriety when
over 2,000 launched a mass hunger strike that forced Israeli Prison
Services to cave into many of their demands.
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