|PCHR Concerned for the Lives of Palestinian Detainees on Hunger Strike, Reiterates Rejection of Forcible Transfer of Civilians|
|Thursday, 20 September 2012 00:00|
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is concerned for the lives of three Palestinian detainees who have been on hunger strike in protest at being placed under administrative detention by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). PCHR reiterates its rejection and condemnation of the policy of forcible transfer which is being implemented by IOF; a number of Palestinian detainees have been offered their release from prison, conditional upon their forcible transfer, in an effort to convince them to end their hunger strikes. Of particular concern are reports that one of these detainees will be deported to Egypt. PCHR calls upon the international community to put pressure on Israel to immediately release the three detainees in question.
Samer al-Barq, 38, from Jayous village near Qalqilya, has been on a hunger strike since 22 May 2012 (122 days), in protest at being held under administrative detention by IOF since 11 July 2010.
Hassan al-Safadi, 34, from Nablus, has been on a hunger strike since 21 June 2012 (93 days), in protest at being held under administrative detention by IOF for 14 months.
Ayman Shanyoura, 36, from Hebron, has been on a hunger strike since 2 July 2012 (78 days), in protest at his re-arrest by IOF following his release as part of the prisoners swap deal between IOF and Palestinian resistance groups in October 2011 (the ‘Gilad Shalit deal’).
According to several sources, the three detainees are in very poor health, as they suffer from several serious health conditions, including malnutrition, general fatigue, anemia, protein deficiency, sugar deficiency, and sight deficiency.
In a press release issued on Friday, 14 September 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stated that it is “extremely concerned about the deteriorating health of three Palestinian detainees who are on long-term hunger strike”. Juan Pedro Schaerer, the head of the ICRC delegation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, said “These people are going to die unless the detaining authorities find a prompt solution”.
On Thursday, 20 September 2012, media sources reported that IOF were making preparations to deport one of the detainees, Samer al-Barq, to Egypt, in exchange for ending his hunger strike.
PCHR is concerned about the use of forcible transfer by IOF in respect of Palestinian civilians. PCHR is aware of a number of similar cases in which Palestinian civilians were deported. IOF have previously departed at least 203 Palestinian detainees; 40 of these individuals were deported abroad and 163 to the Gaza Strip, in accordance with the ‘Gilad Shalit deal’. More recently, on 01 April 2012, IOF transferred a Palestinian detainee, Hanaa Shalabi, from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip for a period of 3 years in exchange for ending her hunger strike, which had continued for 44 days.
PCHR reiterates its condemnation of the policy of forcible transfer of civilians, which is prohibited under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
In light of its concern for the lives of the detainees who are on hunger strike, and its rejection of the policies of administrative detention and forcible transfer:
1- PCHR calls upon the international community to immediately intervene to compel Israel to release all detainees who have been on hunger strike in order to save their lives.
2- PCHR calls upon Israel to put an end to the policy of administrative detention, which violates the right to a fair trial.
3- PCHR calls upon the international community to ensure Israel’s respect for international humanitarian law, and abstention from committing the crime of forcible transfer against Palestinian civilians.