[Pnews] Save Palestinian Hunger Striker Mohammad Allan from Force-Feeding and Torture

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Aug 10 13:24:54 EDT 2015


*Save Palestinian Hunger Striker Mohammad Allan from Force-Feeding and 

August 10, 2015

Call for Urgent Action

Save Palestinian Hunger Striker Mohammad Allan from Force-Feeding and 

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and Physicians 
for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-IL) call for urgent action to save the life 
of Palestinian detainee Mohammad Allan, a Palestinian attorney who has 
been on hunger strike for 54 days in protest of his administrative 
detention without charge or trial since November 2014. Mohammad Allan is 
being held by the Israeli Prison Services (IPS). Early this morning he 
was transferred from the intensive care unit in Soroka Hospital, Beer 
Al-Sabe to Barzilai hospital, Askalan. Allan is in a critical condition, 
not taking any minerals, vitamins or supplements and has refused medical 

Mohammad Allan was arrested by the Israeli occupation army on 6 November 
2014 and has been under administrative detention since then. A six-month 
administrative detention order was issued and it was renewed for a 
further six months in May 2015. After extending his administrative 
detention, Mohammad embarked on an open-ended hunger strike on the 16th 
of June 2015 in protest of his continued detention without trial.

On Friday 7 August 2015, the Israeli Prison Service told Allan's lawyer 
that it was planning to submit a request to the Israeli District Court 
to authorize force-feeding him as provided for under the notorious and 
recently legislated force-feeding law. A day later, Gilad Erdan, the 
minister of public security affairs, declared that the force-feeding law 
would not be implemented yet, and that Allan would be treated according 
to the Israeli Patient's Rights Act. PHR-IL has confirmed that the 
ethical committee of the Soroka hospital has authorized forced 
examinations on Allan, yet the medical staff of Soroka hospital have 
stood firm and refused any act of coercion on their patient.

In response, hoping that other doctors might agree to force-feed him, 
the IPS transferred Allan to Barzilai hospital this morning. The 
director of Barzilai has told the press that the hospital would follow 
the Patient’s Rights Act and that he hoped Allan would be willing to 
accept medical treatment. It seems that the hospital is being put under 
pressure by the Israeli authorities who are attempting to influence the 
decisions of the hospitals' ethics committees.

The Israeli patients' rights act does not allow force-feeding. It 
anchors the duty to provide medical care conditioned with informed 
consent to receive medical treatment, even in cases of medical emergency:

Section 13(a) states:

No medical treatment will be given to a patient unless the patient has 
given his informed consent to the treatment. In addition, the Act 
anchors the provisions with regard to medical treatment without consent 
under very strict conditions which are intended to undergo examination 
by the ethics committee of the medical institution.

Section 15 states:

(1) A clinician may give medical treatment that is not one of the 
treatments enumerated in the Supplement to this Act without the informed 
consent of the patient, if all the following conditions are met:

(a) The patient’s physical or mental state does not permit obtaining his 
informed consent;

(b) The clinician is not aware that the patient or his legal guardian 
objects to the receipt of medical treatment;

(c) It is impossible to obtain the consent of the patient’s authorized 
representative, should such a representative have been appointed under 
Clause 16 of this Act, or it is impossible to obtain the consent of the 
patient’s legal guardian, if the patient is a minor or a legally 
incapacitated person.

(2) Should the patient be deemed to be in grave danger but reject 
medical treatment, which under the circumstances must be given soon, the 
clinician may perform the treatment even against the patient’s wish, if 
an Ethics Committee, after having heard the patient, has approved 
administering the treat¬ment, and has been persuaded that (c) there are 
reasonable grounds to suppose that, after receiving treatment, the 
patient will give his retroactive consent.

It is evident that in the case of Mohammad Allan, there is no 
justification for any forced treatment or force-feeding, since he is 
still mentally competent, understands his condition and the implications 
of his situation; he is able to engage in discussion and has expressed 
his will not to be examined or treated.

Any medical coercion on Allan despite his refusal may cause the opposite 
effect and result in severe health problems and even potentially 
jeopardize Allan’s life, as evident in Israel’s previous attempts to 
force-feed Palestinian hunger strikers during the 1980s, which resulted 
in several deaths.

Addameer and PHR-Israel warn against the forced treatment or feeding of 
hunger striker Mohammad Allan and stress that any such act of forced 
treatment and coercion on Allan while he is conscious, mentally 
competent and despite his refusal to get examined, treated, or be fed 
constitute violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

Force-feeding violates medical ethics as it administers forceful 
treatment to a patient against his will, and is considered a form of 
torture. The World Medical Association addressed the Prime Minister of 
Israel, stating the following: "Force-feeding is violent, very painful 
and absolutely in opposition to the principle of individual autonomy. It 
is a degrading, inhumane treatment, amounting to torture. But worse, it 
can be dangerous and is the most unsuitable approach to save lives." 
Article 7 of the 1975 World Medical Association Declaration of Tokyo 
explicitly states that doctors are not allowed to force-feed hunger 

Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel also underline the World 
Medical Assembly’s guidelines in the Declaration of Tokyo (Guidelines 
for Physicians Concerning Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment in Relation to Detention and Imprisonment) 
adopted in October 1975 which states that: “Where a prisoner refuses 
nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an 
unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a 
voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially.”

We urge you to take all action possible including writing to relevant 
authorities and decision-makers, asking them to put pressure on the 
Israeli authorities to dismiss their plans to force-feed Mohammad Allan 
and to put an end to his arbitrary detention without trial, which is a 
flagrant violation of international law and human rights guarantees and 
standards on fair trial. Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel 
are ready to help in providing material and support for any 
correspondence or action you intend to take.

For further information contact:

Rafat Sub Laban

Advocacy Coordinator

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

rafat at addameer.ps

+972 (0) 2 297 0136/+972(0) 457 936418

Andrea Barsony

International Advocacy Coordinator

Physicians for Human Rights – Israel

andrea at phr.org.il

+972 (0)527 424514

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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