Maher Akhras continues his battle of freedom

Days of Palestine – Ramallah – Prisoner Maher Al-Akhras, 49, from Jenin continues his open hunger strike on Sunday for the 85th consecutive day rejecting his administrative detention amid warnings of his possible martyrdom due to the deterioration of his health condition.

Akhras is being held in the Israeli Kaplan hospital in an extremely dangerous health condition as he suffers from severe fatigue and stress, pain in the joints, abdomen and stomach, and permanent headache in addition to weight loss and a balance disorder.

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He is also unable to move, losing a lot of fluids and salts. His senses of hearing and speaking have been affected negatively. Doctors warned of damage to several organs of Akhras’s body, such as the kidneys, liver and heart, and thus his life is at risk of sudden death.

Palestinian human rights organizations and political parties warned that Akhras would die at any moment because he entered the stage of extreme danger.

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Akhras said, “I am committed to my decision and will eat food only in my home, and I will not break my will. I am now in the Kaplan Hospital, I do not drink anything but water, and I will continue doing so until I return to my house.”

On the 12th of October 2020, the Israeli court had rejected again the request for his immediate release submitted by his lawyer. The court submitted a proposal that indicates the possibility of continuing his administrative detention and not renewing it conditional on stopping his strike. Akhras rejected this proposal and declared that he will continue his battle until his freedom.

The PIC had an interview with Akhras’s wife Taghreed, and she appealed to all the free people of the world to intervene and demand the release of her husband due to the severity of his health condition.

Taghreed confirmed that the doctors told her that there is a real danger on her husband’s life, pointing to the fact that he insists on continuing his strike until either freedom or martyrdom.

She said, “Two weeks ago, my husband’s health condition gravely deteriorated and the doctors warned of his death at any moment.”

Akhras’s wife, who is next to him in the Israeli Kaplan Hospital, called on human rights institutions and the Palestinian factions to support her husband and secure his release.

Akhras was born in August 1971, in Silat al-Dhahr town in Jenin, and he is a father of six children, the youngest of whom is a 6-year-old girl and before his arrest he worked in agriculture.

Akhras was subjected to repeated arrests that began in 1989, and his detention continued for seven months. The second time was in 2004 for two years then he was re-arrested in 2009 and remained in administrative detention for 16 months. He was arrested again in 2018 and was held in custody for 11 months, until his last arrest.

On 27/07/ 2020, he was arrested again and the occupation authorities ordered his administrative detention for four months. The Israeli court tried to circumvent his strike by resorting to what it calls a freeze on administrative detention, which does not mean the immediate end of his detention.

Since the beginning of the strike, Akhras has been subjected to repeated transfers as an attempt to exhaust him and discourage him from continuing his strike. At the beginning of his detention he was held in the Hawara detention center then he was transferred to Ofer prison until he was transferred to the Ramla Clinic prison and finally to the Kaplan hospital.

(Source / 19.10.2020)

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