Amnesty International issued the following urgent action alert calling for the release of Palestinian hunger striker Muhammed Allan after 60 days of hunger strike, as he has entered a coma.
Release Palestinian lawyer on hunger strike
Palestinian lawyer Mohammed Allan has been on hunger strike since 16 June in protest at his detention. He has been held by Israeli authorities without charge or trial since 6 November 2014. The reasons for his arrest and detention remain unknown. He lost consciousness on 14 August and is at risk of being forcibly fed.
Mohammed Allan, 31, was arrested from his home in Einabus village, in the occupied West Bank, by Israeli security forces on 6 November 2014. He was handcuffed and taken to his office in the city of Nablus, in the West Bank, and ordered to show files of clients he had represented. He was handed a six-month administrative detention order on 11 November. The Israeli authorities have not given any reasons to Mohammed Allan or his lawyer for his arrest and detention. His administrative detention was renewed for another six months on 5 May. He began a hunger strike on 16 June to demand an end to his detention. According to Palestinian human rights NGO Addameer, since the beginning of his hunger strike he has only consumed water.
The Israeli Prison Service informed Mohammed Allan’s lawyer on 7 August of their intention to submit a request to the Israeli District Court to authorize his force-feeding under new legislation allowing force-feeding of hunger-striking detainees. However, statements made by Israeli politicians, including the one responsible for promoting the bill, indicate it is particularly aimed at Palestinian detainees.
On 10 August, he was transferred to the intensive care unit of Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, Israel. Later that day, as medical staff refused to force-feed him, he was moved to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, Israel. Mohammed Allan continued to refuse medical examination and was chained to his hospital bed by a hand and a foot, despite being too weak to stand. It was reported on 14 August that he had lost consciousness.
Mohammed Allan told his lawyer on 12 August that he does not want to die, but to live a life of dignity.
Please write immediately in English, Hebrew or your own language:
- Calling on the Israeli authorities to end the use of administrative detention and release Mohammed Allan and all other administrative detainees unless they are promptly charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence and brought to trial in proceedings which meet international standards;
- Stressing that as a general rule hunger strikers should not be forcibly fed, and any decision on non-consensual feeding should be made only by qualified health professionals and only for reasons of medical necessity; the authorities must never require health professionals to act in any way contrary to their professional judgment or medical ethics, which essentially preclude compulsory feeding of mentally competent hunger strikers.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 25 SEPTEMBER 2015 TO:
Director General, Ministry of Health
Moshe Bar Siman Tov
2 Ben-Tabai St.
Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Fax: +972 2 623 3026
Salutation: Dear Director General
Minister of Public Security
PO Box 18182
Jerusalem 91181, Israel
Fax: +972 2 584 7872
Salutation: Dear Minister
And copies to:
Military Judge Advocate General
Brigadier General Danny Efroni
6 David Elazar Street
Hakirya, Tel Aviv,
Fax: +972 3 569 4526
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Release Palestinian lawyer on hunger strike
Since Mohammed Allan started his hunger strike on 16 June he has refused all food, vitamins and minerals, drinking only water. After his condition worsened on 14 August and he lost consciousness, he was given minerals intravenously.
Administrative detention – ostensibly introduced as an exceptional measure to detain people who pose an extreme and imminent danger to security – has for years been used by Israel to detain a much wider range of people who should have been arrested, charged and tried in accordance with the normal laws of penal procedure, or against individuals who should not have been arrested at all. Orders can be renewed indefinitely and Amnesty International believes that some Palestinians held in administrative detention by Israel are prisoners of conscience, held solely for the non-violent exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and association. The Israeli military withholds most of its evidence against administrative detainees, claiming this is for security reasons. This prevents detainees from challenging their detention.
Israel’s use of administrative detention of Palestinians is widespread and has led to mass hunger strikes by Palestinian detainees and prisoners, protesting also against their conditions. According to the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem, at the end of June 2015 there were 370 Palestinians in administrative detention in Israeli Prison Service facilities. There are currently seven Palestinian prisoners and detainees on hunger strike, according to Addameer, a Palestinian NGO that advocates for prisoners’ rights. While administrative detention has rarely been used against Israeli nationals, three Israelis were recently placed under administrative detention orders following the killing of Palestinian father and child Ali and Saad Dawbashe in an arson attack on 1 August 2015. Amnesty International has consistently called for the Israeli authorities to end the use of administrative detention, as it violates the right to a fair trial.
The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, passed a law on 30 July 2015 that allows prisoners and detainees on hunger strike to be force-fed in extreme circumstances if it is authorized by a district court judge and subject to a medical report proving the individual is in a grave condition, even if the individual has not consented.
Statements made by the Israeli politician responsible for promoting the bill indicate that the main intent of the law is to avoid making concessions including releasing administrative detainees, rather than the health of the hunger striker. The Israel newspaper Haaretz on 14 June quoted Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan as saying, “security prisoners are interested in turning a hunger strike into a new type of suicide terrorist attack through which they will threaten the State of Israel. We will not allow anyone to threaten us and we will not allow prisoners to die in our prisons.”
Health care for prisoners should comply with international law and standards on the right to health and with medical ethics, including principles of confidentiality, autonomy, and informed consent (including the right to refuse treatment including feeding). Any decision whether to carry out non-consensual feeding of a hunger striker should be made only by qualified health professionals, and only for reasons of medical necessity; it must take account of the individual’s mental competence and wishes, as ascertained by health professionals in confidential consultations with the hunger striker. Medical ethics essentially preclude health professionals from compulsorily feeding mentally competent hunger strikers. Health professionals in prisons have responsibilities towards prison authorities as well as towards inmates, in particular those who are their patients, but the authorities must never require them to act in any way contrary to their professional judgment or medical ethics. Amnesty International opposes non-consensual feeding of hunger strikers without medical supervision, if it is done for reasons other than medical necessity or carried out in a manner that amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. No prisoner or detainee should be punished for being on hunger strike or subjected to coercion to end a hunger strike.
Name: Mohammed Allan
Gender m/f: m
UA: 181/15 Index: MDE 15/2282/2015 Issue Date: 14 August 2015