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Al Mezan Expresses Concern for the Lives of Detainees Still on Hunger Strike and Calls on the International Community to Intervene

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The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights expresses concern for the lives of administrative detainees on hunger strike in Israeli prisons. The Palestinian detainees continue to hunger strike for the 21st consecutive day, now surviving on only water as the Israeli prison authorities confiscated the sugar and salt that the detainees were previously consuming. The detainees on hunger strike reportedly suffer fatigue, inability to move their bodies, dizziness, and pain in the joints. Al Mezan holds Israeli authorities responsible for their lives and calls on the international community to intervene to end the Israeli violations of prisoner rights that have prompted this latest round of hunger strikes.

The Palestinian administrative detainees held in Israeli prisons started the open-ended hunger strike in the early morning hours of Thursday, 24 April 2014, in protest of their ongoing administrative detention; the extensions of the detentions are carried out without presentation of evidence legally justifying their initial imprisonment or its extension. The number of detainees on hunger strike has reached 150 with 20 detainees from Ofar prison and 16 detainees from Negev prison recently joining the strike. In solidarity with the strikers, an additional 5,000 detainees in Israeli prisons began a 24-hour strike to protest Israel’s use of administrative detention.

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) are continuing to carry out violations against Palestinian detainees that are being held in Israeli prisons. The violations of the rights of the prisoners include the treatment of Palestinian detainees according to policies that are counter to international justice principles.

The Israeli government is continuing to pursue policies and procedures that violate the rights of Palestinian detainees; such policies include a new bill that blocks amnesty or commutation of life imprisonment. The bill aims to prevent Palestinian detainees from realizing the right to submit amnesty and aims at hindering the release of detainees through agreements with the Palestinian Authority and prisoners swaps with Palestinian resistance factions.

Al Mezan expresses its deep concern for the detainees’ health and holds the Israeli authority responsible for their lives and well-being.

The widespread ill-treatment that has been documented in Israeli prisons amounts to violations of the 1955 United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment adopted in 1988, the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilians in Times of War, and the 1948 International Convention Against Torture, which was ratified by the state of Israel in 1991.

Al Mezan reiterates its previous calls on the international community to intervene to end the Israeli systematic violations of the international law against Palestinian detainees and to prevent the passing of the new bill.

Al Mezan likewise calls on civil society groups, national and international human rights organizations, political parties and governments to expose Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law in support of upholding international principles.