Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Palestine: prisoners in hunger strike quit even vitamins

From Uruknet (signed by humanitarian association Adameer):

Hunger Strikes Update: Hunger strikes escalate as prisoners stop taking supplementary vitamins and boycott the Prison Clinic.

  August 3, 2013 Ramallah - Despite the mounting pressure on the hunger strikers and the Israel Prison Service (IPS) attempts to isolate them, Addameer lawyers were able to gain access to two of the twelve prisoners who have reported that all of the hunger strikers detained in Ramleh clinic have stopped taking vitamin supplements and are threatening to boycott water if their demands are not met. They are currently also refusing medical examinations.

This most recent development is in light of the harsh conditions they are subjected to in the prison clinic, including denial of medical treatment, lack of humane treatment and isolation in dirty cells.

It should be emphasized that Addameer and other human rights organizations are consistently being denied access to the hunger striking prisoners, both from denied applications and by indirect means, such as transferring the prisoner to another location on the date of an approved visit. This week, Addameer had five approved visits to hunger strikers but was ultimately only allowed access to Ayman Tbeisheh and Husam Matar. The other prisoners were transferred without notice on the day of Addameer’s visit, thereby denying them their right to legal counsel and further isolating them from the outside world.

Ayman Tbeisheh, who has been on hunger strike for 70 days in protest of his administrative detention, is currently being held in desolate conditions in Ramleh clinic in a ward for infectious diseases. For over five weeks, he has been isolated in a soundproof 2x2 windowless cell with a mattress on the floor. According to Ayman, fellow hunger strikers Adel Hreibat, Mohammad Tbeisheh, Mohammad Rimawi, Husam Matar and Abdul Majeed Khdeirat were also held in similar conditions before their recent transfer. Ayman also confirmed that three of the Jordanian prisoners are held in another ward of the prison clinic, which houses prisoners with mental disorders.

The prisoners are subjected to increased pressure and threats by the IPS to end their hunger strikes. They have reported that they are continuously transferred to different cells, subjected to night inspections, not allowed clothing, sheets, family visits and any contact with others except for a one hour recreation period in the yard. Those who are on hunger strike in protest of administrative detention have been promised verbally that they will not receive a renewal order, but the IPS refuses to document the agreement in writing.

Husam Matar, who has been on hunger strike for 61 days was held briefly with Mohammad Rimawi before his transfer to an unknown location last week. Husam reported that Mohammad’s health is critical and his life is in danger. He is currently taking medicine for a lung infection and fungal infection resulting from his hunger strike as well as suffering from mineral deficiency.

Husam is also being held in appalling conditions; he is in a small, dirty cell filled with sewage water. The conditions are so filthy that he is unable to pray during the holy month of Ramadan. Husam suffers from previous medical issues such as neurological problems, and bone issues, and currently suffers from facial hair loss, bodily pains and dehydration as a result of his hunger strike.

The hunger strikers also confirmed to Addameer that Adel Hreibat is in critical condition, his pancreas and liver are failing and he has a lack of basic minerals in his blood, decreased heart rate, blood sugar and blood pressure. Addameer was denied visitation rights for Adel despite his dangerous and
life-threatening health condition.

Addameer again calls for immediate intervention from the international community including the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Union, to pressure Israel in the strongest manner possible to save the lives of all twelve hunger strikes.

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