Joint Press Release, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel
Ramallah, 23 February 2012—Following the cessation of his 66-day hunger strike on the evening of 21 February 2012, a Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel)-affiliated doctor and Addameer lawyer Samer Sam’an visited Khader Adnan today, 23 February, to closely monitor his current condition.
According to the PHR-Israel-affiliated doctor, “Khader’s condition is still unstable. He will be facing a long, continuous recovery process.” According to Attorney Samer Sam‘an, Khader is now eating three meals a day, but has been instructed to eat them slowly and in two different portions. Hospital personnel note that even if he seems as though he is recovering well, it is important to remain cautious; each day of recovery holds major risks due to the complexity of balancing all of his needs and the potential failure of his heart. He is still suffering from extremely weak muscles, preventing him from being able to walk. Khader has been given the impression that he will be moved out of the hospital and into prison too soon, a fear shared by PHR-Israel and Addameer.
Khader accounted that in the hours before the deal was negotiated with Israeli officials limiting his detention
, he was threatened with being fed against his will—an action that would have been a violation of international law and medical ethics. Khader remained steadfast until he received his minimum conditions for release. He expressed his utmost gratitude for his fellow prisoners and individuals all over the world who have supported him, and reminded the local and international community that the real issue at hand is not his case but rather the case of all other prisoners and Palestinians living under Occupation.
In an unprecedented decision that has the potential to affect other prisoners as well, an Israeli District Court reached the conclusion today, 23 February, to order the removal of Khader’s shackles in the hospital bed. In the court decision, Judge Avraham Tal stated his opinion on the case filed by PHR-Israel and Addameer: “In light of the petitioner‘s medical condition, shortly after a hunger strike, shackling him to the bed during all hours of the day and night, even only by one limb, is not proportional.”
Khader was shackled continuously throughout his stay at Zif Medical Center and the shackles were removed only after a petition to the district court was filed by Addameer and PHR-Israel on 9 February. Even then, they were only removed during the day and were put back on during the night. This continual shackling was not in accordance with the notice that the IPS gave to the court about removing the shackles completely. On 20 February, the two organizations appealed to court again, asking to reconsider the case regarding the shackling of Khader while he is hospitalized. During a hearing that took place yesterday, 22 February the IPS noted that as soon as he ended his hunger strike, they decided to “reinstate” the shackling of Khader to the hospital bed. Today’s ruling allows for Khader to be shackled by only one limb when in the presence of visitors “who are not authorized by the IPS of the medical staff that treats him.”
PHR-Israel and Addameer reiterate their fear that he will be moved too soon out of the hospital and call for the immediate end of his detention.
Despite the increased international eye on Israel regarding administrative detention during Khader’s hunger strike and the notable victory in limiting Khader’s detention period, Addameer and PHR-Israel are dismayed that no effective change has been made for the more than 300 other Palestinians held in Israeli detention without charge or trial. As of 1 February, there were 309 administrative detainees, but even in the past few weeks this number has increased. Hana al-Shalabi, who is a female administrative detainee released in the prisoner exchange deal in October 2011, was re-arrested on 16 February 2012 and given a new six-month administrative detention order. She has been on hunger strike for the past 7 days in protest of her administrative detention.
Two of the currently longest-held administrative detainees are Ahmad Saqer, who has been in administrative detention since November 2008, and Addameer Prisoner at Risk Ayed Dudeen
, who was released from three and a half years of administrative detention in June 2011, only to be re-arrested in August. He has since received two new administrative detention orders. Addameer and PHR-Israel would also like to draw attention to the 24 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) who remain in administrative detention.
Addameer and PHR-Israel call for an end of Israel’s practice of arbitrary detention and for all administrative detainees to be released unconditionally. Administrative detention should never be used as a collective or punitive measure. As the most severe control measure permitted under international humanitarian law, administrative detention must only be used with the strict application of all necessary safeguards. Addameer and PHR-Israel therefore urge the international community to continue applying pressure on Israel to comply immediately with its legal obligations and to bring to an end the violations of international humanitarian law currently being committed with impunity against Palestinians.
Addameer and PHR-Israel would finally like to thank all of those who supported Khader and our teams during this strenuous period and hope that international pressure is maintained until our concerns regarding Khader’s life and wellbeing are diminished.