Prisoners Club: Safadi and al-Barq suspend their hunger strikes

The following article reports that, as per the Palestinian Prisoners Club, Samer al-Barq and Hassan Safadi have suspended their hunger strikes pending the confirmation of their releases/transfers. Ayman Sharawna and Samer al-Issawi remain on hunger strike.

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Two Palestinian long-term hunger strikers have ended weeks-long fasts after deals expected to secure their release, the Palestinian Prisoners Club said on Sunday.

“Hassan Safadi and Samer Barq have suspended their hunger strikes,” Amani Sarahna, a spokeswoman for the Club, told AFP.

“Safadi will be released on October 29, at the end of his detention period. Barq will be held until the Israelis and Egyptian reach an agreement (on his transfer). If they don’t reach a deal, he will resume his hunger strike.”

Israeli prison spokeswoman Sivan Weizman confirmed the two had ended their hunger strike, and said they were still under medical supervision, describing their medical condition as “adequate.”

Amnesty International said last month that Safadi and Barq had refused food since May 22 and June 21 respectively to protest their administrative detention.

Administrative detention orders are issued without trial or conviction by a military court, and can be renewed indefinitely for periods of six months.

Barq was transferred to intensive care earlier this month, and the International Committee of the Red Cross issued a statement warned that he, Safadi and a third fasting prisoner, Ayman Sharawneh, were close to death.

More than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners, including Safadi, in May ended a mass hunger strike for better conditions in a deal with prison authorities.

One of the terms of the accord was that those held without trial in administrative detention would go free at the end of their current terms, unless fresh evidence emerged against them.

Safadi went back on hunger strike after his detention order was renewed.

Egypt has reportedly offered to host Barq, who holds Pakistani citizenship, under a deal with Israel that would see the prisoner ultimately transferred to Pakistan. But the deal has not yet been finalised.