Palestine -Imminent Danger to Hunger Strikers


Al-Barq, (104th day) & Safadi (74th day)
Ramallah-Jaffa2 September 2012 — Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-IL) fear for the lives of the three remaining Palestinian hunger strikers held by Israel. Of utmost concern are the health conditions of administrative detainees Samer Al-Barq, today on his 104th day of renewed hunger strike following his previous 30-day hunger strike, and Hassan Safadi, today on his 74th day of renewed hunger strike following his previous 71-day hunger strike.

According to Addameer lawyer Fares Ziad following his visit to Ramleh prison medical clinic on 30 August, Samer was too weak to meet with him and could not get out of bed. Mr. Ziad met with Hassan and fellow hunger striker Ayman Sharawna, who is on his 64thday of hunger strike today. During their visit, Hassan told Mr. Ziad that both he and Samer had recently been taken to Assaf Harofeh hospital for a few days due to the further deterioration of their conditions and doctors informed them that their lives were under immediate threat.

Hassan was taken to Assaf Harofeh for testing from 27-29 August. Troublingly, Hassan was told by the doctors in the hospital that the tests revealed that his immunity level has fallen dangerously low; there is fluid in his lungs; and he has developed problems in his liver and kidneys including  kidney stones.

During his visit with Ayman Sharawna, Mr. Ziad learned that prison doctors informed Ayman that his life is also at risk. Ayman noted that in addition to very low immunity levels and cirrhosis in his liver, he suffers from terrible joint pain and back pain from previous chronic conditions, and that the IPS doctors refuse to give him pain medication until he stops his hunger strike.


Akram Rikhawi ended his hunger strike on 22 July after 102 days, upon reaching an agreement with the IPS to be released in January 2013. Following a visit to Akram on 25 July, the PHR-IL doctor recommended Akram’s immediate referral to a public hospital and to be immediately examined by a lung specialist. To date, this recommendation has not been implemented.


Samer is now the longest hunger striker in Palestinian history. He and Hassan have reached very critical stages in their prolonged hunger strikes, with doctors noting that they are at immediate risk of death. Nonetheless, Israel not only insists on the injustice of depriving them of their right to fair trial, but also continues to severely mistreat them, in the forms of physical brutality and psychological torture that is employed by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) to get them to break their strikes.

Despite their severe medical conditions, both Samer and Hassan are still denied family visits and access to independent physicians and independent medical care. Addameer, Al-Haq and PHR-IL are outraged by the IPS’ practice of approving visits by independent doctors only after court orders are issued.

In light of the severe deterioration of the health conditions of the remaining Palestinian detainees on hunger strike, Addameer, Al-Haq and PHR-IL urge the international community to immediately intervene on their behalf and demand:
·         That the agreements reached on 14 and 15 May 2012 be respected, including the release of administrative detainees who were promised release at the end of their current orders;
·         Unrestricted access for independent physicians to all hunger strikers;
·         The immediate transfer of Samer Al-Barq and Hassan Safadi, as well as all other hunger strikers, to public hospitals;
·         That no hunger striker be shackled while hospitalized;
·         That all hunger strikers be allowed family visits, while they are still lucid;
·         That Hassan Safadi and Samer Al-Barq, along with all other administrative detainees, in addition to Ayman Sharawna and other detainees that were released as part of the prisoner exchange deal in October 2011 be immediately and unconditionally released.


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September 2012
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