[Pnews] 23 days of hunger strike: Israeli occupation continues to impose restrictions on attorney visits

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue May 9 10:33:36 EDT 2017


  23 days of hunger strike: Israeli occupation continues to impose
  restrictions on attorney visits

May 9, 2017<http://www.addameer.org/printpdf/2826>

Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons launched a mass 
hunger strike on 17 April 2017, on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. The call 
for hunger strike came as a result of Israel’s policies and practices 
towards Palestinian political prisoners, who continue to face 
punishments by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS). An estimated 1700 
Palestinian prisoners announced the beginning of an open hunger strike. 
The hunger striking prisoners’ demands include: an end to the IPS’ 
abusive use of isolation for “security” reasons; an end to Israel’s 
practice of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial in 
administrative detention, under which 500 Palestinians are currently 
detained; ending denial of family visits and better conditions within 
Israeli prisons and detention centers.

On 3 May 2017, significant Palestinian political leaders declared they 
will be joining the mass hunger strike. A joint press conference held in 
Ramallah on the same day declared that imprisoned Popular Front for the 
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat will join 
the strike along with dozens of leaders from several Palestinian 
political factions such as Nael Barghouthi, Hassan Salameh, Ahed Abu 
Ghoulmeh, Abbas al-Sayed, Ziad Bseiso, Basem al-Khandakji, Mohammed 
al-Malah, Tamim Salem, Mahmoud Issa, and Said al-Tubasi.

Prisoners have all been punished for their hunger strikes by being 
placed in solitary confinement and denied family and attorney visits, in 
an attempt to isolate them from the outside world. The prisoners 
involved in the mass hunger strike have also already begun to face 
punishments by the IPS such as denial of recreational time; denial of 
access to the “canteen” (prison store); prohibition from participating 
in group prayers on Fridays; and seizure of salt during the first days 
of the strike. More troubling, the IPS has made it exceedingly difficult 
for independent doctors to visit the hunger striking prisoners and has 
provided prisoners with plastic cups in order to drink from the tap 
rather than the usually provided drinking water.

Addameer particularly condemns the IPS’ restrictions imposed on lawyers 
to visit all prisoners following the increasing number of Palestinian 
prisoners engaging in the hunger strike. Addameer’s attorney Farah 
Bayadsi was prevented today, 9 May 2017, from visiting PFLP leader Ahmad 
Sadaat, who was transferred to isolation in Ashkelon prison. Despite the 
Israeli High Court ruling to allow prisoners see their attorneys, the 
IPS frequently denied visits upon request. Addameer anticipates that the 
IPS will continue to use such tactics in order to systematically prevent 
lawyers from having access to the hunger strikers, such as moving 
prisoners to other prisons without informing their lawyers, in an 
attempt to further isolate the hunger strikers and undermine their strike.

However, Addameer’s attorney Farah Bayadsi managed to visit 
hunger-striking prisoner in Ofer Ghassan Zawahreh, who informed Bayadsi 
that Israeli Special unit forces regularly storm and raid prisoners’ 
sections confiscating personal belongings; only one blanket has been 
kept for each prisoner and one set of clothing in addition to the 
“Shabas clothing” or prison uniform. Hunger strikers have also been 
prohibited from washing their personal clothing and undergarments. In 
reaction to this, prisoners boycotted medical examinations. Zawahreh 
also added that four prisoners have been transferred to a hospital due 
to deterioration in their health condition, but he could not identify 
who those prisoners were. The relocation of several prisoners to other 
prisons has exacerbated their already deteriorating health due to a 
lengthy ‘transfer’ process.

As more prisoners are joining the hunger strike, Addameer Prisoner 
Support urges supporters of justice around the world to take action 
support the Palestinian prisoners whose bodies and lives are on the line 
for freedom and dignity. Addameer urges all people to organize events in 
solidarity with the struggle of hunger-striking prisoners and 
detainees. Addameer calls on the diplomatic community to pressure Israel 
to immediately allow for hunger striking prisoners to have access to 
necessary healthcare and legal advisement. Addameer further urges all 
political parties, institutions, organizations and solidarity groups 
working in the field of human rights in the occupied Palestinian 
territory and abroad to support the prisoners in their hunger strike and 
demand that their legitimate demands be granted. Addameer will continue 
to closely follow the prisoner’s strike and provide regular updates on 
the situation as it develops.

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