[Pnews] Scores of Palestinian prisoners reported to join mass hunger strike on 25th day
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu May 11 10:52:08 EDT 2017
Scores of Palestinian prisoners reported to join mass hunger strike on
May 11, 2017 - http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776994
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- As hundreds of Palestinians detained by Israel
marked the 25th day of their mass hunger strike on Thursday, more
prisoners reportedly joined the strike, while prisoners rights groups
noted with concern the worsening health conditions of a number of hunger
Sawt al-Asra (Voice of Prisoners) radio quoted anonymous sources on
Thursday as saying that nearly 100 Palestinian prisoners from across the
political spectrum had decided to join the hunger strike.
Meanwhile, the Fatah Central committee called on its party members
currently imprisoned by Israel to join the strike, unless they were
sick, underage, or women.
Sawt al-Asra estimated that nearly 1,800 prisoners were now
participating in the strike.
As Israeli authorities have severely restricted hunger-striking
prisoners’ access to their relatives, lawyers, and each other, estimates
of the number of hunger strike participants have been hard to
corroborate. While the media committee of the hunger strike has reported
that between 1,500 and 1,600 prisoners were forgoing food, Israeli
authorities have claimed that fewer than 1,000 prisoners were participating.
Hunger-striking prisoners are calling for an end to the denial of family
visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care
and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative
detention -- imprisonment without charge or trial -- among otherdemands
for basic rights. <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776379>
According to prisoners' rights organization Addameer, 40 percent of the
male Palestinian population has been detained by Israeli authorities at
some point in their lives, as rights groups have long accused Israel of
using routine imprisonment as a tool to erode family and political life
in the Palestinian territory.
Conditions worsen for hunger strikers in prison
The media committee of the hunger strike reported on Thursday that the
healths of the hunger strikers were severely deteriorating, as prisoners
experienced difficulty moving, severe dehydration, stomach aches,
headaches, irregular heartbeats, and low blood pressure.
The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said on Thursday that
the hunger strikers’ healths had reached a “tragic” level of “extreme
danger,” as most hunger strikers had lost between 15 and 25 kilograms.
Citing prisoner testimonies, the committee went on to say that some
hunger strikers had begun to vomit blood.
Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies spokesman Riyad al-Ashqar said
that Israel Prison Service (IPS) authorities in the Ktziot detention
center had refused to transfer dozens of hunger strikers to hospitals,
instead holding them in prison clinics.
Al-Ashqar said that IPS was pressuring prisoners to end their hunger
strikes in exchange for receiving medical care.
He added that Ktziot prison guards were also placing food in hunger
strikers’ cells to break their determination, and had prevented the
prisoners from drinking cold water despite rising temperatures, forcing
them to drink hot water instead.
Prisoners rights groups denounced the IPS’ repressive measures seeking
to break the strike.
The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs denounced the use of
solitary confinement and forcible transfer of hunger-striking prisoners
between detention facilities in an attempt to exhaust the prisoners into
ending their strike.
It added that IPS officers had blocked some cells’ windows to deny
hunger strikers access to sunlight; confiscated clothes and salt, the
only nutrient consumed by the hunger strikers; and fined hunger strikers
for a variety of small offenses such as not standing up during roll call.
Hunger strike supporters continue holding solidarity events in
Meanwhile, supporters of Palestinian hunger strikers continued to
publicly show solidarity for the prisoner movement, as the National
Committee for Supporting the Strike called Thursday a “day of anger”
across the occupied Palestinian territory.
Several Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces during a march in
support of the prisoners near the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El
in the Ramallah district of the occupied West Bank.
Meanwhile, Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun
that the Canadian Labor Congress was the latest foreign trade union to
have issued a resolution calling on its government to pressure Israel
over the ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners.
Samidoun also reported that activists were carrying one short hunger
strikes in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Paris, France, the
Belgian capital Brussels, and Chicago in the United States.
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