The People’s Health Movement (PHM), strongly condemns the Israeli government’s retention of the remaining three Palestinian hunger strikers, without medical assistance or family visitation rights.
The health of the three hunger strikers, Samer Al-Barq, Hassan Safadi and Ayman Sharawna is being severely affected by the Israeli authorities withholding medical assistance. All three prisoners are administrative detainees (where a military court can order a person be held without charge for renewable periods of six months – Samer Al-Barq has been held without trial since July 2010) a practice that is in violation of the 4th Geneva convention regulations, in contradiction with international humanitarian law and widely condemned by human rights organisations around the globe. Of particular concern is the health of both Samer Al-Barq and Hassan Safadi: Samer has been on a renewed hunger strike for nearly 110 days, following a previous hunger strike of 30 days – at the end of August it was reported he was too weak to get out of bed; Hassan Safadi has been on his renewed hunger strike for nearly 80 days, following his previous hunger strike of 71 days. Doctors have noted that both are in danger of imminent death, and that the life of Ayman who has been on hunger strike for nearly 70 days, is also at risk.
As reported by doctors from physicians from human rights, who visited the detainees, as well as independent tests done when admitted to hospital for examination, the three hunger strikers all face critical and life threatening health problems. In addition they have been refused family visits despite their poor health conditions and possible impending death. It is also alleged that the hunger strikers have endured physical brutality and psychological torture by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), in an attempt to get them to break their hunger strike. It also needs to be stressed that these prisoners have not had the opportunity of a fair trial.
The United States backed Israeli government has for many years violated the human rights of Palestinian people, through the occupation of Palestinian territories; the economic blockade against Gaza; and ongoing military action against civilian population under occupation. These further violations: of the hunger strikers right to a fair trial, medical assistance and family visitation rights is strongly condemned by the People’s Health Movement.
The PHM demands that the Israeli Government and Ministry of Defence:
- Immediately release Samer Al-Barq and his administrative detention order should not be renewed.
- Immediately transfer all hunger strikers to public hospitals; and that no hunger striker should beshackled while in hospital;
- Allow unrestricted access of independent physicians for all hunger strikers;
- Adhere to the agreements reached on 14 and 15 May, including improving conditions of prisoners, family visitation rights and ending of solitary confinement.
- Immediately release all administrative detainees who were promised release at the end of the current orders;
- That Hassan Safadi, Ayman Sharawna and other administrative detainees should be immediately and unconditionally released;
- That governments around the world condemn the ongoing violation of human rights of Palestinians by Israel and sever diplomatic, trade and military ties with Israel.
We recognize and appreciate the growth of social forces within Israel who are supporting the prisoners and pressurizing their government to fulfill their human right obligations.
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