Thursday, 24 April 2014

Mass hunger strike launched by Palestinian administrative detainees


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- More than 100 Palestinians in Israeli prisons launched a mass, open-ended hunger strike on Thursday in protest against their detention without trial, a prisoner rights organization said.

The hunger strike is taking place in the Ofer, Megiddo, and Negev prisons and comes after Israeli authorities reneged on a promise made following an earlier mass hunger strike to limit the use of administrative detention to exceptional cases, Addameer said in a statement on Thursday.

Addameer lawyer Samer Samaan visited the Ofer prison on Thursday and confirmed that 55 prisoners at that facility had been isolated from other prisoners following the announcement of the hunger strike.

The 2012 agreement which ended a hunger strike of 2,000 Palestinian prisoners was meant to end the detention without trial of Palestinians, Addameer said, but as of March 1, 183 Palestinians were still being held under administrative detention.

Palestinians held in administrative detention are often held without charge or trial for months and without access to the evidence leading to their detention, even though international law stipulates this tactic only be used in exceptional circumstances.

Over 800,000 Palestinians have been detained since 1967, with 5,224 currently being held in Israeli prisons, according to the PLO. more

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