Palestinian hunger striker has started to refuse water in prison

Published May 4th, 2016 - 12:17 GMT
Three young demonstrators hold images of Sami Janazreh. (
Three young demonstrators hold images of Sami Janazreh. (

Palestinian hunger-striking prisoner Sami Janazreh has refused water since Monday, according to the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs.

Janazreh, 43, from al-Fawwar refugee camp near Hebron, has been on a hunger strike for 63 days in protest of his administrative detention -- a widely-condemned Israeli policy that allows for internment without charge or trial for six-month intervals which can be renewed indefinitely.

Janazreh told his lawyer, Muataz Shqeirat, that his refusal of water was an act of protest against abusive treatment by Israeli prison wardens during his ongoing hospitalization at the Israeli Soroka Medical Center, which includes tying his feet and hands and barring him from using the bathroom.

The hunger-striker's health has continued to deteriorate, with his weight dropping to 48 kilograms while he reportedly suffers from hypothermia, slow heart rate and low blood pressure.

Janazreh was initially detained in November and openly declared his hunger strike in March after Israeli authorities renewed his administrative detention.

Israeli Prison Services have since moved the hunger-striker between Israeli prisons as a way of pressuring him to end his strike, according to the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS), before placing him in solitary confinement at Israel's Ela prison.

Janazreh was transferred to the hospital last week following a severe deterioration of his health.

According to his lawyer, Janazreh disseminated a message to various human rights and political groups urging them to intervene in his administrative detention, highlighting attempts by Israeli prison authorities to pressure him into ending his strike.

However, Janazreh told his lawyer that despite this pressure, he would continue his strike until he received his freedom or "died a martyr."

Janazreh is one of several Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in an attempt to hold Israel accountable for its arbitrary arrest and detention of Palestinians.

According to prisoners' rights group Addameer, there are currently 700 Palestinians being held in administrative detention.

Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq earlier this year came close to death during a more than 90-day strike against his detention, during which Israeli medics were accused of forcing treatment on the prisoner.

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