The latest wave of mass hunger strikes continue for the second week, as Palestinian prisoners demand the end of the policy of administrative detention. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association | Ramallah, Occupied Palestine
Administrative detention is a procedure in which Palestinians are arbitrarily arrested and detained without charge or trial based on a secret file. There are currently 183 Palestinians under administrative detention, 9 of them members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
On 24 April 2014, administrative detainees announced a mass hunger strike in demand of their freedom, the International Solidarity Movement reports.
There are currently 95 detainees on hunger strike in Ofer, Megiddo and Naqab prisons. It should be noted that Ofer and Megiddo prisons are provided services by the British-Danish company G4S, which is responsible for the installation cameras and surveillance equipment used to control the Palestinian prisoners.
According to one hunger striker, who spoke with Addameer lawyer Mahmoud Hassan, the detainees in the Naqab Prison have all been transferred to an isolated section, separate from the other prisoners.
The cells are covered in sand.
The prisoners have been ill-treated; suffering from daily cell searches and being permitted to change their undergarments only twice since the beginning of the strike. They are bound and handcuffed in their cells for ten hours a day.
Three of the hunger strikers in Naqab prison, Fadi Hammad, Fadi Omar and Soufian Bahar, are now in solitary confinement and one detainee, Ahmad Abu Ras, was transferred to an undisclosed location.
Furthermore, the IPS has been denying the hunger strikers salt for the last two weeks. Prisoners who engage in hunger strikes still take liquids and salt, as they are essential for survival.
Denial of salt is a continuation of punishments against hunger strikers and, despite the grave danger it imposes on the lives of the detainees, has been institutionalized by the Israeli Supreme Court. In 2004, the Israeli Supreme Court denied a petition by Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and several other Palestinian and Israeli NGOs that demanded the IPS provide salt on a daily basis to hunger-striking prisoners, as its denial breaches the constitutional rights of the prisoner.
The hunger strikers will face even harsher punishments if the IPSâ€™s most recent proposed bill to legalize force-feeding passes in the Knesset. The memorandum is currently up for public critique.
Original article in full, at the ISM official webste, via link below.
Photo: Over 2,000 Palestinians participated in a march in Hebron, this past week, in support of the hunger striking prisoners, according to the PNN.
Both Fatah and Hamas supporters, including leaders and lawmakers, took part in the march and chanted against the Israeli policy of administrative detention.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, and continues into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.