Home Prisoners 07/October/2020 03:20 PM

Prisoner's wife joins in hunger strike

RAMALLAH, Wednesday, October 07, 2020 (WAFA) – A detainee’s wife today began a hunger strike in solidarity with her husband, who has been hunger-striking for almost 70 days in protest of his administrative detention, according to the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS).

The PPS said in a press statement that wife of Maher al-Akhras, who has been transferred to Kaplan Medical Center in central Israel after going on hunger strike for 73 consecutive days, announced that she has gone on a hunger strike as well in front of the hospital in solidarity with her husband.

The PPS said in a statement that al-Akhras is going through very difficult health conditions as he refuses to get nutrients and undergo medical checkups.

It again held the Israeli authorities fully responsible for the fate of the prisoner, calling on the competent authorities and international human rights organizations to pressure Israel for his immediate release.

It stressed that while the world is battling the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the Israeli authorities continue to carry out daily detention raids, transferring dozens of Palestinians to administrative detention.

Al-Akhras, a 49-year-old father of six children from the Jenin-district town of Silat al-Dahr, was arrested on July 27, 2020, and has been sentenced to four months in administrative detention without charge or trial.

Following his hunger strike and subsequent severe health deterioration, al-Akhras was transferred by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) to the Kaplan Medical Center, where doctors received permission to force-feed him, and his health deterioration prompted IPS to freeze his administrative detention.

The Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS) affirmed that freezing al-Akhras’ detention instead of cancelling it was an act of deception and constituted an attempt to end his hunger strike without granting him his legitimate rights.

Al-Akhras was detained four times before; the first time was in 1989, the second time in 2004, the third time in 2009, and once again in 2018.

Israel’s widely condemned practice of administrative detention that allows the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable intervals ranging between three and six months based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.

The US State Department has said in past reports on human rights conditions for Palestinians that administrative detainees are not given the “opportunity to refute allegations or address the evidentiary material presented against them in court.”

Amnesty International has described Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and has long called on Israel to bring its use to an end.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest their illegal administrative detention and to demand an end to this policy, which violates international law.

K.T./ K.F.

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