Palestinian who went 71 days without food restarts hunger strike after Israel breaches deal to free him
Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Thu, 06/21/2012 - 14:33
Prisoners’ rights group Addameer issued the following urgent release a short time ago:
Urgent: Hunger striker’s administrative detention order renewed in violation of recent agreement
Note: following publication of this press release, Addameer lawyer Fares Ziad phoned after visiting Hadarim prison and confirmed that Hassan Safadi has re-launched his hunger strike and is currently being held in solitary confinement in Hadarim.
Ramallah, 21 June 2012 - Addameer is outraged by today’s news that Hassan Safadi, who engaged in hunger strike for 71 days, has had his administrative detention order renewed for an additional six months. Hassan, who launched his hunger strike on 5 March, was one of the five long-term hunger strikers in administrative detention who were promised release upon the expiration of their current orders in the agreement that ended the Palestinian prisoners’ mass hunger strike on 14 May.
During his hunger strike, Hassan was subjected to severe ill-treatment by Israeli prison authorities when he was held down by prison guards and forcefully given treatment by a prison doctor via an injection in his arm. By the end of his hunger strike, his health had deteriorated significantly and he was in critical condition.
Hassan has been held in administrative detention since 29 June 2011 and this renewal of his detention is a blatant violation of the agreement between the prisoners’ hunger strike committee and Israeli officials. Addameer is concerned that this renewal may cause Hassan to return to open hunger strike, which would put his health at urgent risk. Addameer additionally fears that his extension may indicate even more troubling breaches of the agreement to come, as there is now no guarantee that any of the long-term hunger strikers will be released upon their given dates.
In regards to the implementation of the agreement as a whole, one of the 19 prisoners in long-term isolation, Dirar Abu Sisi, has still not been moved to the general prison population, and an additional prisoner was moved to isolation last week. Furthermore, family visits to prisoners from Gaza have not yet resumed, though one month has passed since the agreement was signed. Addameer has observed no change in Israel’s overall administrative detention policy and fears that these practices will only continue without significant pressure from the international community.
The latest Israeli violation of prisoner dealIsrael’s violation of its deal to free Hassan Safadi is only the latest. As The Electronic Intifada reported, Israel began violating the deal it reached to end a mass hunger strike almost as soon as it was signed in mid-May.
Currently, Samer al-Barq is on the 32nd day of a hunger strike which he resumed after Israel reneged on its agreement to free him. Meanwhile, Akram Rikhawi, who is seriously ill is on day 71 of his hunger strike.