Ezzedine and Qa’adan call for action at 54 days of hunger strike

ezzedine-qaadanJafar Ezzedine and Tareq Qa’adan, two of the three prisoners in administrative detention who have now been on hunger strike for 54 days (the third is fellow administrative detainee Yousef Shaaban Yassin), all of whom were arrested following the ceasefire in Gaza, on November 22, 2012, issued a statement today reaffirming their dedication to continue their strike until they achieve their goals: their freedom, the end of administrative detention, and the release of all hunger striking prisoners. They stated that they are boycotting medicines and medical tests, calling for broad support for their struggle.

They said that they are determined to drink only water and boycott all kinds of medicines and supplements, even medical tests, and not deal with doctors and nurses, struggling to affirm and build upon the noble goals and historic national achievements of the prisoners’ movement.

They called for an end to Arab and international silence toward the issue of prisoners and their suffering, appealing to international institutions and Palestinian institutions that work on human rights and the prisoners’ case, imploring them to take the needed action to stand with the prisoners whose lives were on the line.

Tareq Qa’adan stated that he was unsurprised by the decision of the High Court to refuse to hear his appeal on Wednesday, January 16. He had told the court, “I dedicate this hunger strike to my sick child, and to my freedom. I have been detained arbitrarily several months after I was released, so I will not end hunger strike unless I secure my freedom.” He said “I expected this result, objectively and realistically, we did not rely on those who are known to be treacherous for fairness or justice. They specialize in humiliation and assault on the freedoms of our people.”

Jafar Ezzedine, 41, launched his last hunger strike on March 21, 2012, when he was previously arrested and held without charge or trial under administrative detention. He participated in the mass hunger strike of April-May 2012, and was released in July 2012, only to be re-arrested on November 22 in the mass arrest raid. He is once again in administrative detention, imprisoned without charge or trial. He, like Qa’adan, is from Arraba, near Jenin.

Tareq Qa’adan, 40, also joined the mass hunger strike in April-May 2012, during his last arrest. He served 15 months in prison for participating in an event at the Arab American University in Jenin, released also in July 2012, and re-arrested in the mass roundup of November 22. He has been held in administrative detention since that time, without charge or trial.

Yousef Shaaban Yassin, 29, from Aneen, also near Jenin, was last arrested in February 2012 and served eight months in prison. He was also rounded up once again – shortly after his release – on November 22 and has been held in administrative detention without charge or trial since that time.

Addameer reports that Yousef Yassin is are being held in isolation in a cell at Ramleh prison clinic, with a guard placed outside their door 24 hours a day, and is subject to daily inspections. All three are also being denied family visits. They have also had most of the belongings, such as clothes, cigarettes and electronics confiscated. As a result of their continued detention and treatment by the IPS all three have refused any medical treatment or tests since 21 December 2012.

The Electronic Intifada reported:

The prisoners — Jafar Azzadine, Tarek Qa’adan and Yousef Yassin — stated:

Our open hunger strike is to protest the Intelligence and their policies, our goal is not just to gain our individual freedom but to end the practice of administrative detention, the pointed sword on the neck of the Palestinians.This is a battle in the fight for freedom and dignity despite all the continuing pain and torments that impair us, and despite all the pressure that we endure and is practiced against us by the Israeli Prison Service and Shabak to break our will from our steadfastness. However, the cowardly enemy will never undermine our steadfastness and our determination to achieve justice and freedom for all our imprisoned and hunger striking brothers, and the oppressed and those who were tortured by the fiery tormentors for decades. We call on the sons of our people to stand by us and to show responsibility for our fellow prisoners, especially Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawna who are nearing death. We also call on all local and international institutions and those that are specifically for human rights to intensify their efforts and to raise our voices high in international forums to expose the barbaric occupation and its practices.