UN experts urge ‘Israel’ to either release or charge 5 hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners

UN independent rights experts have urged on Friday ‘Israel’ to either release or charge the five hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners held in its jails, calling on ‘Israel’ to completely end the “unlawful practice “ of administrative detention.

In a statement, the experts said that ‘Israel’ continues to detain more than 500 Palestinians – including six children – “without charges, without trials, without convictions”.

They are being held on the basis of “classified secret information” that the detainees cannot access or challenge, and they do not know “when, or if, they are going to be released”, according to the Human Rights Council-appointed experts..

The experts noted that ‘Israel’ has regularly violated its legal duty under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which states that an occupying power cannot transfer prisoners from occupied territory, to detention centres in its territory.

UN calls for ‘Israel’ to comply with its obligation have come to no avail, the experts said.

“In international law, administrative detention is permitted only in exceptional circumstances, and only for short periods of time. Israel’s practices exceed all of the international legal boundaries.”

The independent experts also called upon ‘Israel’ to end its harsh detention conditions of Palestinian prisoners: “the imposition of solitary confinement on detainees already weakened by months of hunger strike, must stop immediately” they said.

Six Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails continue their open hunger strike in protest of their unfair administrative detention without a charge or trial despite of health deterioration.

The six hunger-striking prisoners’ health condition has been deteriorating severely, as they have been suffering from powerful fatigue, exhaustion, headache, severe weight loss, and deficiency of fluids in the body.

The longest hunger-striker is Kayed Fasfous, as he has been on hunger strike for 102 days, and he lost over 30 kilograms of his weight, and suffers from pain all over his body.

Fasfous is currently held at Barzilai Hospital, as Israel’s High Court has lately frozen his administrative detention.

Fasfous is followed by Miqdad Qawasmi, who has been on a hunger strike for 95 days.

Qawasmi’s health condition has been deteriorating severely as he lost over 25 kilograms of his weight, and he is held now in the Kaplan hospital as a patient, rather than as a detainee.

Qawasmi’s family said that he has started losing a part of his memory.

Israeli doctors in Kaplan hospital tried to force-feed Qawasmi while he was tied to his bed in the ICU yesterday and break his hunger strike.

Three Israeli jailers are surrounding his room and deliberately eat in front of him. His right arm and left leg are shackled to his bed the whole time although he is facing the danger of sudden death.

Israel’s High Court has also frozen Qawasmi’s administrative detention.

The court’s order does not release Qawasmi and Fasfous from administrative detention – it simply freezes the order for the period of their treatment and observation.

The court’s decision also means that the administration of prisons and the Intelligence device are not responsible for their lives, and turning them into an unofficial prisoner held at the hospital, under the guardianship of the hospital’s security instead of the jailors.

But both Qawasmi and Fasfous said they will continue their strike until they gain freedom.

The 6 hunger-striking prisoners are:
•Kayed Fasfous (102 days of hunger strike)
•Alaa Al-A’raj (78 days of hunger strike)
•Miqdad Qawasmi (95 days of hunger strike)
•Hisham abu Hawash (69 days of hunger strike)
•Ayyad Harimi (32 days of hunger strike)
•Shadi abu Akaer (61 days of hunger strike)

Around 40 Palestinian detainees started hunger strike since the start of 2021, in protest against Israel’s detention without a charge or trial.

Administrative detention is illegal under international law, however, the occupation state uses it to repress the Palestinian people.

‘Israel’ routinely uses administrative detention and has, over the years, placed thousands of Palestinians behind bars for periods ranging from several months to several years, without charging them, without telling them what they are accused of, and without disclosing the alleged evidence to them or to their lawyers.

Thus, the hunger strike is a method of a non-violent resistance which the prisoners use to protect their lives and their fundamental rights and a response to the occupation racist policies which they face in the prisons.

There are 4,650 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails, among the prisoners are 520 administrative detainees held without charge or trial, 200 child prisoners and 39 female prisoners.

(Source / 24.10.2021)

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