Saturday, February 18, 2012

EU, France Concerned over Health of Striking Prisoner

BRUSSELS, February 18, 2012 (WAFA) – The European Union and France expressed concern over the health condition of Khader Adnan, the Palestinian prisoner held in Israeli jails without charge of trial and who has been on hunger strike for 64 days in a row protesting his arrest, according to statements published Saturday.

EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton expressed “great concern” over reports about the deteriorating health condition of Adnan and requested the government of Israel “to do all it can to preserve the health of Mr. Adnan in its continuing handling of this case.”

Ashton also expressed concern “about the extensive use by Israel of administrative detention without formal charge.”

She said that “detainees have the right to be informed about the charges underlying any detention and be subject to a fair trial.”

France has also urged the government of Israel to make a humanitarian gesture in favor of Adnan.

The Cairo-based Middle East News Agency quoted the spokesman of the French Foreign Ministry, Bernard Valero, as saying that his country hopes the Israeli authorities will make a gesture in favor of Adnan, who is “near death in an Israeli jail to protest his unlawful imprisonment.”

Administrative detention must remain an exceptional measure for a limited time, and its implementation must ensure the respect for fundamental guarantees, particularly the detainee’s right to a defense, added Valero.

He stressed that his country is following Adnan’s condition and is contacting the Israeli government on the issue.

Adnan, 35, a leader in the Islamic Jihad from the Jenin area, in the north of the West Bank, went on hunger strike in December protesting his arrest without charge or trial. An Israeli military court sentenced him to four months in administrative detention, and following an appeal by Adnan’s lawyers for his release, another military court rejected the appeal and upheld his detention order.

His lawyers took his case to the Israeli High Court, which has not yet ruled on the matter.

Adnan said he will continue in the hunger strike, the longest ever in the history of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, until his release.
Palestine News & Info Agency