Four Palestinian political prisoners currently imprisoned in Israeli military jails under administrative detention orders are continuing their hunger strikes despite deteriorating health conditions and abuse by Israeli soldiers according to a joint press release of the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel.The Palestine News Network (PNN) reported today that Samer Al-Barq, and Hassan Safadi are of particular concern to the human rights groups both because of their deteriorating health caused by the hunger strikes and the abuse suffered at the hands of Israeli soldiers.
Both were visited by a lawyer and a physician on August 5th and 2nd respectively. Al-Barq is on the 79th day of his hunger strike, which followed a previous strike of 30 days. Safadi is on the 49th day of his hunger strike. Since the start of Ramadan both men have allowed themselves only water at night and are now refusing treatments even of vitamins and minerals in protest of the treatment by Israeli soldiers.
According to Addameer lawyer Fares Ziad, when the two men were being transferred from Ramelh to Ofer military court, the Special Forces soldiers ordered Mr. Al-Barq to walk. When he told them he could not, they beat his legs. When they eventually brought a wheelchair, he was forced to crawl to it and wheel it himself as he was offered no help.
Ziad also told of a similarly cruel series of incidents relating to Mr. Safadi who is being held in an isolation cell with nothing but his clothes. He told the lawyer that his cell is searched three or four times a day violently, tearing up his bedding, and on one occasion, he was insulted and beaten by soldiers, leaving one of his legs injured.
The two men are now being held together in this cell which measures 5 feet by 6 feet and has no windows or ventilation.
The human rights groups are outraged at the treatment of Palestinian prisoners and especially of those who are more vulnerable due to their hunger strike. They demand that previous prisoner agreements from May of this year and the non-derogable human rights of prisoners be respected. In addition to the right no not be beaten or tortured in custody, this means the release of prisoners under administrative detention orders, unrestricted access to hunger strikers by independent physicians, and the affirmation that released prisoners will not be rearrested.