[Ppnews] Immediate action needed to ensure Israel respects hunger-strikers’ rights
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 22 11:24:11 EST 2013
* *Immediate action needed to ensure Israel respects hunger-strikers’
*Thursday February 21, 2013 19:27 by Joint Press Release – Ad-Dameer,
Al-Haq and PHR | IMEMCNEWS* <http://www.imemc.org/article/65092>
Ramallah-Jaffa, 20 February 2013 – Addameer, Al-Haq and Physicians
for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) express their grave concern for
the health of four Palestinian hunger-strikers and outrage at the
continued use by Israel of administrative detention as a widespread
practice to punish and suppress Palestinian dissent against the
In violation of international law, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has
prohibited the hunger strikers from receiving family visits as well as
denying them access to Addameer lawyers and independent physicians.
Due to Israel’s use of administrative detention, and the lack of due
process afforded to Palestinians in the military court system, a hunger
strike represents the singlemost non-violent tool available to
administrative detainees and other political prisoners to fight for
their basic human rights.
Each of the prisoners in question has been placed in isolation as a
punitive measure at some point during their hunger strike as well as
being subjected to other forms of ill-treatment and intimidation.
These include beatings, almost-daily cell and body searches and
shackling to hospital beds. In addition, the IPS has confiscated all
personal material belonging to the prisoners.
At a hearing yesterday, Samer Issawi, who is in a life-threatening
condition and weighs less than 48 kilograms after being on intermittent
hunger strike for more than 200 days, was denied release on bail by the
Jerusalem Magistrate Court.
Samer is protesting his arbitrary re-arrest after his release in a
prisoner exchange on 18 October 2011.
Using Military Order 1651, Article 186, the military prosecution is
requesting that he serve the twenty years that remain from his previous
Samer is suffering from various health conditions including low blood
pressure and irregular heart rate, severe pain in the kidney region,
muscle pain and constant headaches.
Tarek Qa’adan and Jafar Azzidine have been on hunger strike for 86 days
in protest against their detention without charge or trial.
Neither man has access to the information upon which his detention is
based, therefore undermining their ability to effectively challenge the
administrative detention order.
On 12 February, Tarek and Jafar told PHR-Israel’s lawyer that they were
no longer taking any supplements or vitamins, adding further threat to
Tarek and Jafar were informed by the prison doctor that due to their
rapidly deteriorating health, they were at risk of imminent heart attack
unless they received adequate medical treatment.
Both men have expressed their wish to be monitored by and receive
impartial medical consultation from physicians of PHR-Israel, however,
this request has been ignored by the IPS. Tarek and Jafar are both being
held under administrative detention orders, which are due to expire on
22 February 2013.
Ayman Sharawna has been on hunger strike since 1 July 2012, except for a
brief reprieve in January 2013 when he believed that his case was moving
in a positive direction.
He is protesting the Israeli prosecution’s attempt to have him serve the
remaining 28 years of his previous sentence.
Ayman was released in the 18 October 2011 prisoner exchange but was
re-arrested on 31 January 2012. Since then, he has been held without
charge or trial, based on a “secret administrative file” which alleges
that he breached the terms of the exchange deal.
Ayman and his lawyer have not been granted access to this secret file or
allowed to know the nature of his alleged breach of contract.
At a Supreme Court hearing today to contest the legitimacy of his
detention under Military Order 1651, Article 186, Ayman’s case was
referred back to the Military Court, which will hear his case at a later
While in court, Ayman told Addameer’s lawyer that as of 16 January he
had only been drinking water. Ayman has also been under continuous
pressure from the Israeli General Security Service to end his hunger strike.
Israel’s widespread practice of administrative detention constitutes a
serious breach of international humanitarian and human rights law.
While administrative detention is allowed under international
humanitarian law, it must be used only under exceptional circumstances
as it infringes upon basic human rights, including right to a fair trial.
There are currently 178 Palestinians being held under administrative
detention orders, including five democratically elected Palestinian
Legislative Council members.
Administrative detainees should at all times be entitled to habeas
corpus remedy, be informed of the reasons for detention and be allowed
regular family visits. This form of arbitrary arrest also contravenes
Articles 9 and 14 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
In March of last year the United Nations (UN) Committee on the
Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination urged Israel to end
its current practice of administrative detention, which it referred to
as discriminatory and constituting arbitrary detention under
international human rights law.
Similarly, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union,
this week called upon Israel to allow for the immediate restoration to
the hunger strikers of family visiting rights and called upon Israel to
bring formal charges against the hunger-strikers with a view to
providing them with a fair trial without delay.
Also this week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated the call to
Israel for administrative detainees to be charged and granted a fair
trial, or be promptly released.
Such calls for Israel to abide by its international law obligations echo
countless others that have been issued by the international community
We are concerned that, like those before them, they will be ignored by
Israel until the Member States of the UN begin to support their rhetoric
with concrete action and ensure that Israel can no longer violate
international law with impunity.
Addameer, Al-Haq and PHR-Israel demand that all hunger-striking
prisoners are transferred to civilian hospitals immediately, where they
should receive adequate medical care without being shackled.
The shackling of hunger-striking prisoners in civilian hospitals is in
violation of medical ethics as well as the guidelines of the Israeli
Ministry of Health, the Israeli Medical Association, and the IPS. In
addition, family visits, along with regular access to independent
medical care and lawyers should be fully reinstated.
In the absence of any formal charges against the hunger-strikers and
administrative detainees in general, and bearing in mind that the
Israeli court system does not offer a fair and transparent judicial
process for Palestinians – a point that was reiterated by the UN
Fact-Finding Mission on Settlements – Addameer, Al-Haq and PHR-Israel
also demand that all four prisoners and the remaining administrative
detainees be released without delay.
*Prisoner Support And Human Rights Association (Addameer)*
*Alhaq Human Rights Association*
*Physicians for Human Rights-Israel*
Related Link(s): http://www.prh.org.il
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