[Pnews] Palestinian and Israeli NGO's Concerned by Recent Court Decision regarding Political Prisoner Bilal Kayed

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Aug 17 11:22:46 EDT 2016


  Palestinian and Israeli NGO's Concerned by Recent Court Decision
  regarding Bilal Kayed

*_August 17, 2016_*

On the 11th of August, the Beer Sheva District Court rejected the appeal 
of Bilal Kayed, who is completing 64 days of hunger strike in protest of 
his administrative detention, and whose condition is considered 
critical. The court ruled that he shall remain shackled to his hospital 
bed by his hand and leg, and shall not be granted a visit by an external 
independent physician, using arguments that create a dangerous precedent 
contrary to the Patients’ Rights Law and prisoners’ 
rights. Today, Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) has submitted 
an appeal to the Supreme Court. An appeal hearing has been scheduled by 
the Supreme Court to the 22nd of August 2016 in response to an appeal 
submitted by Addameer’s lawyer to cancel Mr. Kayed’s administrative 

The District Court judge, AharonMishnayot, ruled that Mr. Kayed must 
remain shackled and appeared convinced by the claims of the Israeli 
Prison Service (IPS) that Mr. Kayed would be abducted from the hospital 
by some entity and that he poses a clear and concrete threat to state 
security. The claims were based on secret IPS intelligence that PHRI’s 
attorney was denied the right to review during the court hearing. This, 
despite Mr. Kayed’s conduct during his 14.5 years in prison, during 
which time he was not violent neither to prison staff nor fellow 
prisoners. Moreover, this decision is in total contradiction to Mr. 
Kayed’s deteriorating medical state - including pain in the chest, 
kidney, jaw, eyes, blurred vision, numbness throughout the body, hair 
loss, yellowness, peeling of the skin, and grave risk of stroke. 
  Nevertheless, Mr. Kayed has reported to Addameer’s attorney on the 8th 
of August that the Director of Ashkelon Prison (who reportedly visited 
Kayed on the 6th of August) has stated that he held him responsible for 
the mass hunger strikes inside the prisons. The continued shackling of a 
patient in these circumstances violates medical ethics, international 
medical guidelines and the right of freedom from torture and/or cruel, 
inhuman or degrading treatment.

Moreover, the Court ruled that an independent doctor’s visit was not 
necessary, as Mr. Kayed was already visited by a physician from the 
International Committee of the Red Cross - Israel. Yet ICRC-Israel 
visits focus on ensuring that a prisoner is held in accordance with 
international standards and are no substitute for a second opinion. In 
using this argument, the court has used the humanitarian activities of 
ICRC-Israel as an excuse to further violate fundamental human rights. 
International ethical codes emphasize the importance of a medical 
examination by an independent doctor to create a trusting relationship 
with the hunger striker in an attempt to reach a life-saving solution. 
As Mr. Kayed is now in the 64th day of his hunger strike, this delay can 
be critical.

The Court also wrote that PHRI’s petition “wasn’t motivated by a genuine 
concern for the petitioner’s health, but a hidden agenda”. This smear of 
PHRI is highly problematic and is clearly aimed at undermining their 
work and credibility. This is carried out against a backdrop of repeated 
attempts to undermine the legitimacy and efforts of all those 
organisations and individuals fighting against the occupation.

Meanwhile, in a recent request by PHRI on behalf of Mr. Kayed to have 
access to his medical records, the Director of the Barzilay Hospital 
responded that PHRI must go through the IPS. This is in clear 
contradiction to section 18 A of the Patients’ Rights Law, which 
highlights the patients’ rights to secure their medical records.

This recent court decision and the delays in the court system are yet 
more infringements on the right of hunger strikers and points to the 
political considerations at play, including the attempt to break the 
hunger strikers’ morale. Hunger striking is a non-violent form of 
protest, and often the only recourse for prisoners to draw attention to 
Israel’s abusive detention policies.

In its 2016 concluding observations, the UN Committee Against Torture 
noted that “The Committee is concerned at allegations of instances in 
which prisoners who engaged in hunger strikes were punished or subjected 
to ill-treatment” (para. 26) and recommended that Israel, “urgently take 
the measures necessary to end the practice of administrative detention 
and ensure that all persons who are currently held in administrative 
detention are afforded all basic legal safeguards” (para. 23).

We call on the international community to urge Israel to enable an 
independent doctors’ visit, release Bilal Kayed immediately,  end the 
harsh, inhuman and degrading practices that pressure hunger strikers to 
end their strikes and review the continuous and systematic human rights 
violations of Palestinian prisoners and detainees, especially in regards 
to the policy of administrative detention.

*Signing organizations:* Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority 
Rights in Israel, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights 
Association,  The Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI) and 
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHRI)

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