Palestinian prisoner at immediate risk of death
Jailed Palestinian football player Mahmud Sarsak (R) and prisoner Akram Rikhawi (File photo)
Palestinian prisoner Akram Rikhawi who is on hunger strike for more than two months is at immediate risk of death, an Israeli rights group says.
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said on Thursday the prisoner had been fasting since April 12 and the last time a doctor was given access to him was on June 6. He weighed 49 kilos.
The group said in a statement that Rikhawi also suffered from prior chronic conditions, including diabetes and asthma.
Rikhawi along with football player Mahmud Sarsak have been on hunger strike to protest against Israeli prison conditions and administrative detention.
Palestinians have held several rallies in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip in solidarity with Sarsak and Rikhawi.
The footballer was among an estimated 1,600 to 2,500 Palestinian prisoners who launched a hunger strike on April 17 to protest against Israel’s administrative detention rules, the use of solitary confinement, maltreatment of sick detainees, and difficulty in securing family visits and strip searches that are imposed on visitors.
The Palestinian prisoners ended their hunger strike on May 14 after Israeli prison authorities bowed to their demand for better prison conditions. Sarsak and two other prisoners, however, refused to eat and are still on hunger strike, urging to be released immediately.