Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Prisoners under administrative detention wage hunger strike


By Naomi Kundera - July 12, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Hunger Strike] [Ofer prison] [prisoners] [protests] [Administrative detention]

A hunger strike by five prisoners commenced on July 6, in an effort to improve living conditions and boycott administrative detention, according to a Wafa news agency report. 

Citing the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, the report named Mahmoud Ayyad, Islam Jawarish and Thaer al-Helou of Bethlehem and Issa Awad and Nadim Rjoub of Hebron as the initiators of the open hunger strike in the Ofer military detention prison just outside Ramallah.
 
The Committee has been boycotting the Israeli court since February 15 in protest against the arbitrary Administrative Detention order.

The hunger strike was, “a natural development following stalling and disregard by the Israeli prison intelligence officials” at Ofer, Wafa wrote.
 
The report continues to explain that the Committee was “promised” by Ofer to discuss the reconsideration of administrative detention with the representatives of the prisoners in a “broad session.”
 
Since the boycott did not lead to this promised meeting, the hunger strike ensued.
 
The Committee also claimed to Wafa that they will escalate their struggle soon by also boycotting medicine and clinics inside the prison.
 
B’tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, defines an administrative detainee as, “a person [who is] held without trial without having committed an offense, on the grounds that he or she plans to break the law in the future.”
 
As of April 2018, B’tselem says there are currently 424 Palestinians held by the Israeli military under administrative detention.
 
All those held under administrative detention must show themselves before a military court, of which Ofer is the most notorious.
 
Last month the Ofer military court extended the administrative detention of Palestinian legislature Khalida Jarrar, who has been imprisoned and standing without a trial for one year now.
 
Another individual hunger strike against administrative detention is currently underway in a Ramla prison.
 
Hasan Khaled Shouka, 36 years old from Bethlehem, has surpassed 30 days without eating according to International Middle East Media Center, citing the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS).
 
The Israeli Prison Services (IPS) has taken immediate action in both hunger strikes cases happening now in Ofer and Ramla, forcing the prisoners into solitary confinement.
 
Hunger strikes by Palestinians in Israeli prisons are consistently met with harsh retaliation by the IPS. Forced isolation, forced feeding, and prison transfer are a few tactics commonly used.

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