Administrative detainees continue their open hunger strike… Addameer’s lawyer visits two of the strikers

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18 July 2019

According to the documentation unit at Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, six administrative detainees are continuing their hunger strike in order to end their administrative detention. These detainees include Jafar Ezzedin who has reached day 33 of his strike, Ahmed Zahran who has reached day 26 of his strike, Mohammed Abu Akker, Huthayfa Halabiya, and Mustafa Hassanat who have all three reached day 18 of their strike as well as Hassan al-Zighary who has reached day 9 of his strike.

Addameer’s lawyer was able to visit the striking prisoners Jafar Ezzedin and Ahmed Zahran who are being held in “Ramle Prison Clinic” yesterday and reported that the prisoner Jafar is suffering from continuous head pain and dizziness to the point that he fell twice on the ground because of persistent nausea. He is also suffering from persistent pain in his joints and left kidney as well as vomiting very hot acids, causing inflammation and pain in his throat. The striking prisoner reported that he refused medical examinations and supplements and estimated that he has lost more than 20 kilograms.

Ahmed Zahran reported to Addameer’s lawyer that at first, he was suffering from joint pain and dizziness, but now that his health has deteriorated more, he suffers from shortness of breath, skin sensitivity (rashes and red spots) and heartburn. He cannot stand for very long as he has severe back pain and drinking water is very difficult. He has also reported his boycott of medical examinations.

According to Addameer’s lawyer, Jafar and Ahmed have faced multiple pressure attempts by prison administration to discourage them from striking. After they announced their strike, the two prisoners were immediately transferred to dirty cells with high humidity. They were repeatedly searched, especially at late hours.

After Addameer’s lawyer submitted several requests to visit striking prisoners Mohammed Abu Akker, Huthayfa Halabiya, and Mustafa Hassanat, the visit was approved and scheduled for today, 18 July 2018. Yesterday, the day before the visit, the lawyers were surprised to learn that the three prisoners were all transferred to unknown places. Addameer’s lawyer was able to confirm their whereabouts today: Huthayfa Halabiya was transferred to isolation in “Ayala”, Mohammed Abu Akker was transferred to isolation in “Ashkelon”, and Mustafa Hassanat was transferred to isolation in “Ohlikdar”. The three prisoners are being held in solitary confinement cells that lack even the minimum standards of living, posing a greater threat to their health and their lives as they enter the 18th day of their open hunger strike.

In addition to being subjected to harassment in order to pressure them to stop their strike, isolation from the outside world, and denial from meeting with their lawyers, the occupation authorities have continued to take punitive measures that violate the rights of the striking prisoners, such as preventing them from receiving family visits and using the canteen for a month. These punitive measures usually continue and are renewed until the prisoners stop their strike. They are used by the occupation authorities as a means to pressure prisoners and punish them for their legitimate protest to secure their rights and achieve their demands.

Addameer Prison Support and Human Rights Association holds the occupation authorities fully responsible for the health and the life of the striking prisoners, who are increasingly at risk under the conditions that the prisoners are held under. Addameer denounces the transfer of the three prisoners made by the occupation authorities a day before the lawyer’s scheduled visit and considers this action a deliberate attempt to discourage and obstruct the lawyer from seeing and reporting the health conditions of the striking prisoners.  Addameer calls on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to act urgently and quickly to visit the striking prisoners whose lawyers could not visit them to follow up on their health status as well as to document the violations they are subjected to while in isolation. Addameer reiterates its full support for the demands of prisoners on hunger strike and emphasizes that administrative detention as it is being used by the occupying state against Palestinians violates all applicable international norms and may amount to a war crime.