[Pnews] Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations: Hunger striking Palestinian prisoner Maher al Akhras may die any day, must be immediately released

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Tue Oct 20 12:45:15 EDT 2020


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  Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations: Hunger striking
  Palestinian prisoner Maher al Akhras may die any day, must be
  immediately released

October 20, 2020
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*/Adalah, Addameer, PCATI, PHRI call on international community to urge 
Israel to allow al-Akhras to move to West Bank hospital or to release 
him immediately – before it is too late. /*

Maher al-Akhras is in his 86th day of hunger strike, in protest of his 
administrative detention and is at great risk of death. A Physicians for 
Human Rights Israel (PHRI) volunteer doctor visited al-Akhras on Friday, 
16 October 2020 and noted that although he is generally lucid, he is 
also periodically confused, very dizzy, cannot move his legs, stand, or 
change position in bed. His vision and hearing are rapidly deteriorating 
and he complains of severe chest pains. According to international 
medical consensus on hunger strikes, al-Akhras may die any day. The 
undersigned organizations call for his immediate release.

Al-Akhras, has been on hunger strike since 27 July 2020 following his 
administrative detention. He has appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court 
demanding to be released, but the court decided not to cancel his 
administrative detention – leaving that decision to the security 
apparatus. Instead, the courtonly suspended his administrative 
detention, despite his deteriorating situation, which may result in his 
death. Al-Akhras is simultaneously prevented from leaving Kaplan 
hospital and is therefore under de-facto arrest. These court decisions 
were, /interalia/, made on incorrect translations of a video of al-Akhras.

Al-Akhras has expressed distrust towards the Kaplan medical team, as 
occurs often in hunger strikes. He refuses any treatment or medical 
tests and monitoring from the medical team. He has confirmed that should 
he lose consciousness, he does not want to receive any medical 
intervention. It is worth mentioning that current legislation in Israel 
allows medical staff to feed a person in hunger strike by force, a 
position which is both unacceptable according to medical ethics and, 
according to international law, may amount to  torture.

Al-Akhras’s case highlights the continued and excessive use of 
administrative detention in Israel: a procedure that allows the Israeli 
military commander to hold detainees indefinitely  based on secret 
information without revealing the allegations against them or putting 
them on trial. The courts who review administrative detention orders do 
so based on information presented to the court /ex-parte/by the security 
agencies, and Palestinians detainees are often jailed for months and 
even years without formal charges or a trial. Israel currently holds 
over 300 Palestinians in administrative detention, contrary to the 
Geneva Convention, which demands that this practice be used only in 
exceptional circumstances and subject to strict procedural safeguards. 
In 2016, the UN Committee Against Torture 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.) In 2012, the EU reiterated its longstanding 
position on Israel's use of administrative detention without charge; 
detainees, 'have the right to be informed of the reasons for their 
detention and be subject to a fair trial without undue delay.'

*We call on the international community to urge Israel to allow 
al-Akhras to, at the very least, move to a hospital in the West Bank, so 
he may be treated by a medical team in which he has trust or release 
al-Akhras immediately, before it is too late. We urge the international 
community to voice their grave concern and call on Israel to stop the 
continuous and systematic human rights violations of Palestinian prisoners.*

·      Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

·      Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

·      Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI)

·      The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)

-- 
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