[Ppnews] Gaza welcomes home former hunger striker Akram Rikhawi

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 8 15:56:09 EST 2013

  Gaza welcomes home former hunger striker Akram Rikhawi

Submitted by Maureen Clare Murphy on Fri, 02/08/2013 - 04:58

Akram Rikhawi <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/akram-rikhawi> finally 
tasted freedom today after Israel released him from nearly a decade of 
imprisonment. Rikhawi had gone on and off hunger strike 
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/hunger-strike> since last April in 
protest of the medical neglect of Palestinian political prisoners held 
in Israeli prisons and after his request for early release was rejected.

Rikhawi had recently renewed his hunger strike after Israel didn't 
release him on 25 January 2013, as was the agreement that in July of 
last year ended Rikhawi's refusal of food for 100 days. Rikhawi was 
originally sentenced to imprisonment until late June 2013.

Rikhawi was arrested in June 2004 as and sentenced to nine years in 
prison by Israel's military courts. Rikhawi is the father of eight 
children and also cares for his late brother's five children.

According to the Palestinian human rights and prisoner advocacy group 
Addameer <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/addameer>, Rikhawi was 

    held in Ramleh prison medical center since his arrest, as he suffers
    from many chronic conditions, including asthma. Prior to his arrest,
    Akram received injections of Kenacort to treat his asthma, but
    following his arrest, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) did not allow
    Akram to take this injection. Instead, it was replaced with
    injections of cortisone, which is most likely the cause of severe
    complications, resulting in additional chronic illnesses such as
    diabetes and osteoporosis, from which Akram now suffers. Akram
    underwent surgery in his left eye while in prison due to
    deterioration of his eye lenses and glaucoma. He also suffers from
    high cholesterol, kidney problems, and immune deficiency.

    Dire warning on hunger strikers

Meanwhile human rights group Amnesty International issued an urgent 
action alert today 
concerning the deteriorating health of Jafar Azzidine 
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/jafar-azzidine> and Tarek Qa'adan 
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/tarek-qaadan>. The two have been on 
hunger strike since 28 November 2012 in protest of their detention 
without charge or trial, a practice known as administrative detention 
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/administrative-detention>, since 
their arrests in the West Bank earlier that month.

Amnesty stated:

    Their lawyer visited them on 31 January and told Amnesty
    International: "Ja'far and Tareq are taking only water. Last week
    both were taken to a hospital for eight hours and underwent medical
    checks. I was with them in the hospital and spoke to the doctors who
    told me their health is in a very critical state. They agreed to one
    injection of vitamins and other substances to decrease the risk of
    losing their lives. Both detainees were moved back to the Ramleh

Meanwhile, Palestinian activists and solidarity campaigners in Amman, 
Jordan staged a video-recorded event in solidarity with Samer Issawi 
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/samer-issawi>, who has been on 
partial hunger strike for nearly 200 days. Participants in the action 
each held a paper representing one of the days of Issawi's strike, and 
an Arabic-language slogan of their choice, according to organizers of 
the action.

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863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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