Contact your MP and tell them about the case of Akram al-Rikhawi, who has been on hunger strike for 96 days. Inform your MP that Israel is breaking international rights under Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which says that no person should be “subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention”.
Ask your MP to write to the Foreign Secretary to ask him to formally condemn administrative detention and call for the immediate end of its use by Israel.
You can find your MP’s contact details here
Please cc: Alistair Burt MP, Foreign Office Ministerpsministerburtaction@fco.gsi.gov.uk
A Sample Letter
Dear (Name of MP)
I would like to bring to your attention and ask you to kindly intervene and save the life of Akram al-Rikhawi who is on the verge of death after 96 days of hunger-strike and is the latest of the recent Palestinian Political prisoner who is demanding justice and fairness from the Israeli Military occupation. I would very much like you to raise this urgent humanitarian issue.
Akram al-Rikhawi who is married with eight children, and also cared for his brothers five children after his brother’s death 22 yesrs ago, was sentenced to 9 years in prison by an Israeli military tribunal (these courts convict 99.74% of all accused Palestinians) Rikhawi was arrested on 7 June 2004, when Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) arrested him at a Military checkpoint. In one of his first lawyer visits following his arrest, Akram reported that he had been subjected to ill-treatment. During his transfer to the detention centre, Israeli soldiers removed all his clothes and brought dogs to frighten and intimidate him.
Since being imprisoned he has been denied access to his medication which has led to severe health complications. He suffers from various chronic conditions, including diabetes, asthma, kidney problems, deterioration of eye lenses, high cholesterol, immune deficiency and osteoporosis. Rikhawi launched his hunger strike on 12 April, demanding that his medical condition and social circumstances be considered during the discussion of his request for an earlier release. Every prisoner is entitled to ask to be considered for early release when at least two thirds of the sentence has been served. In all discussions, these factors were disregarded and a file with ‘secret information’ was the only material considered.
Due to these pre-existing conditions Rikhawi’s hunger strike has been even harder on his body. He was already in fragile condition. Now he is in a coma and his condition is deteriorating fast. According to rights groups, an Israeli court on May 30 granted prison doctors 12 more days before allowing independent doctors to visit the prisoners, further prolonging their suffering and isolation.
This was the plea made by other prisoners recently in a similar condition and applies equally in this instance. As Sarsak said when he was on his hunger strike: ”there is still enough time and the support that comes late is better than that which does not come at all. It is better that you receive us alive and victorious rather than as lifeless bodies in black bags”.
As my MP I would like to request that you take immediate action on my behalf and write to the Foreign Secretary to avoid another wasted and avoidable death.
(www.foa.org.uk / 17.07.2012)