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Hunger Strikers Face Continuous Threats of Force-Feedings on 47th Day of Mass Hunger Strike

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

9 June 2014, occupied Ramallah - Hunger-striking detainees in Ayalon Prison and Kaplan and Wolfson Medical Centers have reported to Addameer lawyers of their worsening conditions as their hunger strike enters its 47th day.

This is the longest mass hunger strike among prisoners in Palestinian history since a 45-day strike in 1976. The hunger strikers remain steadfast in their demand to end the policy of administrative detention.
 
Nearly 80 detainees are on hunger strike in 9 civilian hospitals, including: Meir, Aykhlouf, Kaplan, Birzelei, Tel Hashomer, Belinson, Afoula, Suroka, and Wolfson. They are transferred regularly and arbitrarily, effectively denying them the right for lawyers visits who must make advanced coordination with the Israeli Prison Service to visit.
 
Continuous Threats of Force-Feeding
 
Prisoners in Kaplan Hospital reported to Addameer lawyers that the doctors threatened to force-feed the administrative detainees on hunger strike in case of loss of consciousness.  
 
The doctors threatened to "introduce food to the body through the nose into the stomach without taking consent, after shackling [them]."
These allegations come at a time when a bill to allow force-feeding of Palestinian hunger strikers is being debated in the Israeli Knesset. This is a dangerous step towards institutionalizing torture of Palestinian hunger strikers, which force-feeding is considered under international law and by the World Medical Association.
 
The hunger striking detainees were warned of the danger to their lives, as their core muscles are now deteriorating and the body fat has disappeared from their bodies. Some of them were told by the doctors that they can suffer from a heart attack or stroke at any moment. Some are suffering from intestinal bleeding, vomiting blood and fainting in addition to significant loss of weight and decrease in heart rate and decrease in blood sugar.
 
"The rooms are worse than the interrogation cells"
 
The hunger strikers in hospitals are shackled to their bed by hands and legs for 12 hours a day, and bound by one leg for the remaining 12 hours. They are required to seek permission from the guards to use the restroom, and are not allowed to use it at night. Due to their constant shackling, the detainees are forbidden from walking in the rooms, despite the recommendation from the Ministry of Health to do so to keep their blood circulating.
 
The hunger strikers also testify to the ill-treatment of the medical staff in both the hospitals and the prison clinics. The doctors refuse to fully disclose the contents of the supplements they give to the strikers, making the hunger strikers fearful of taking any supplements that will result in them unintentionally breaking their strike. The absence of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), whose role is to monitor the health of the detainees and provide them with the advice and counseling on the supplements and vitamins given to them, has allowed for this continued negligence of the hunger strikers.
 
Additionally, they continue to be banned from yard time, suffer from continued transfers to prisons and hospitals, and systematically denied lawyers visits.
 
Addameer continues to express its utmost concern for the lives of the hunger strikers, and holds the Occupation fully responsible for their lives and well-being. Addameer also calls on international actors, including the United Nations and the ICRC, to maintain their responsibility in upholding international law and intervene in the case of the hunger strikers.
 
ACT NOW!
 
*Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand that the hunger strikers be released immediately:
  • Brigadier General Danny Efroni
    Military Judge Advocate General
    6 David Elazar Street
    Harkiya, Tel Aviv
    Israel
    Fax: +972 3 608 0366; +972 3 569 4526
    Email: arbel@mail.idf.il; avimn@idf.gov.il
  • Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon
    OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
    Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
    Fax: +972 2 530 5741
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak
    Ministry of Defense
    37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
    Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
    Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757
  • Col. Eli Bar On
    Legal Advisor of Judea and Samaria PO Box 5
    Beth El 90631
    Fax: +972 2 9977326
 
 


:: Article nr. 107656 sent on 16-jun-2014 16:55 ECT

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