Israeli Authorities Transfer Hunger Striking Administrative Detainee Bilal Kayed to Another Prison
Israel authorities have transferred Bilal Kayed from solitary confinement in Rimon prison to Ohli Kedar prison. Mr. Kayed enters his 14th day of hunger strike and his transfer comes as a move to pressure him to put an end to his hunger strike. Bilal Kayed, a 35-year-old Palestinian from Nablus was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to 14 and a half years. He had been placed in isolation in Rimon prison since September 2015 until his scheduled release. Bilal was set to be released on 13 June 2016 after completing his sentence. However, a 6-month administrative detention order was issued against him on the same day, immediately after which he was placed back in isolation. Mr. Kayed has been on hunger strike since 15 June 2016 in protest of his detention without charge or trial.
The reason behind Mr. Kayed’s hunger strike is primarily administrative detention but also his continued isolation. Mr. Kayed reported to Addameer attorney Farah Bayadsi that he has exhausted all judicial remedies with regards to his isolation and administrative detention and that he will continue his hunger strike without any negotiations. Mr. Kayed’s main demand is to be immediately released.
The administrative detention of Bilal Kayed exemplifies the arbitrary nature of the policy as practiced by Israeli occupation forces. Administrative detention is based on a “secret file” and is often used to detain Palestinians in the absence of adequate evidence or charges against them. In the case of Bilal Kayed, who has served 14 and a half years in prison, the last several months of which have been under isolation, it is unlikely that Bilal Kayed’s release would pose a threat to the security of the occupying state. Mr. Kayed has had little contact with the outside world so the “secret file” on the grounds of which he is being detained is unlikely to contain information about any legitimate security concerns.
Addameer condemns the administrative detention of Bilal Kayed, and considers it to be a form of arbitrary detention that may amount to psychological torture. Addameer also demands the immediate release of Mr. Kayed, who has already served his sentence and whose detention is evidently an arbitrary one. Addameer is further concerned about the health situation of Mr. Kayed, and recognizes hunger strike as a legitimate form of protest against arbitrary detention.