Calls for pressure on Israel as hunger strike prisoners' health rapidly deteriorates

Published June 1st, 2014 - 05:07 GMT

Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee member and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Hanan Ashrawi, stressed that the health conditions of the hunger striking prisoners held in Israeli jails have significantly deteriorated.

 “The hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who have bravely gone on hunger strike to protest the unlawful practice of administrative detention represent the most selfless struggle for justice and freedom in Palestine, and expose the cruelty and illegality of the ongoing illegal occupation, particularly in relation to the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.  Their courageous actions should be viewed as an essential tool of nonviolence,” said Ashrawi.

“Despite an agreement issued on May 14, 2012 which concluded that administrative detention will be used only in exceptional circumstances, Israel is still systematically using this severe punitive measure, and detaining more than 180 Palestinian prisoners without charge or trial indefinitely and without access to evidence leading to their imprisonment; 8 of these political prisoners are Palestinian Legislative Council members.”

“According to international humanitarian law, administrative detention may be used only in cases of ‘imperative reasons of security’ and for the shortest period of time possible.  However, it is evident that Israel continues to breach international consensus and employs criminal acts at the expense of Palestinian prisoners.”

“Following the launch of the hunger strike by the prisoners under administrative detention on April 24, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has undertaken dangerous measures against the hunger strikers which include violent raids on prisoners’ cells, invasive searches, the beating and injury of prisoners, the denial of medical treatment, the prohibition of family visits, and the restriction of access to lawyers.”

“More than 100 of the prisoners who began their hunger strike on April 24 have been hospitalized, and their health conditions are deteriorating rapidly.”

“With 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we call on all states, members of the press, and people of conscience to pressure Israel to drop its cruel and illegal use of the colonial practice of administrative detention and other administrative punitive measures and form an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate the severe and illegal violations committed by the IPS.”

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