Monday, March 26, 2012

Hospital 'may consider force-feeding' Shalabi

A boy holds a poster depicting Hana Shalabi during a rally in her support in Gaza
City on March 25. The writing on the poster reads: "My strike is a protest against
administrative arrests and strip-searches." (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The ethics committee of Meir Hospital may consider force-feeding hunger-striking detainee Hana Shalabi, human rights organizations said Monday.

The committee will meet Tuesday to discuss Shalabi's case and could discuss force-feeding her, Addameer prisoner rights group and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said in a joint statement.

Amnesty International warned forcible feeding "could constitute cruel and inhuman treatment," a release from the group said.

Shalabi has been on hunger strike for 40 days since she was detained from her home in the northern West Bank. On March 20 she was transferred to Meir Hospital in central Israel.

A doctor from PHR-Israel visited Shalabi on Monday and reported that on Saturday she had agreed to receive calcium and vitamin K to protect her from immediate heart attack.

The doctor said Shalabi's muscle atrophy and wasting had increased on Monday including her heart muscle. She still refuses food and is in danger of death, the doctor said.

Addameer and PHR-Israel expressed their dismay that an Israeli military court on Sunday rejected Shalabi's appeal against her administrative detention order.

Amnesty International also condemned the decision, noting that "the judge’s decision was based on secret evidence not disclosed to Hana Shalabi or her defense team.

"The judge also claimed that a medical report, submitted by the lawyers, did not provide information which suggested that Hana Shalabi’s state of health is a cause for concern," Amnesty said in a statement Monday.

Shalabi, 29, is sentenced to four months imprisonment without trial. She is refusing food to protest the order and her violent arrest and treatment.

Lawyer Jawad Bulus, a member of her legal team, said he submitted a petition to the Israeli high court on Monday demanding her release.
Maan News Agency