Muhammad Allan, a 31-year-old Palestinian lawyer, is facing severe threats to his life and health after over 50 days of hunger strike and the Israeli military’s threat to make him the first victim of its new force-feeding law tonight, Saturday, 8 August. Take Action: Demand that Allan be freed, not force-fed!
Allan is held under administrative detention, without charge or trial, on the basis of secret evidence. He has been detained since 6 November 2014; the renewal of his administrative detention order prompted his strike. A practicing lawyer from Nablus, he has been accused or charged with nothing. He is currently held in Soroka medical center in Bir Saba (Beersheva) and has been denied family visits since 22 March. He is consuming only water and has refused to take vitamins and minerals.
Jamal Khatib, Allan’s lawyer, said that Allan is committed to continuing his full, open hunger strike until he is released from administrative detention – and that the Israeli military prosecution has told him they will go to the military court on Saturday night, 8 August, for an order to force-feed Allan. Israeli military courts essentially function as instruments to carry out military occupation policy. “If the court rubber-stamps the request, Allan will be the first prisoner to be subjected to the cruel and violent practice since Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed a law last month permitting its use with a court order,” reported the Electronic Intifada.
Allan’s mother and family members are sitting in at Soroka Medical Center, where they are being denied access to visit him. His mother has now begun a hunger strike of her own. Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Committee Minister Issa Qaraqe said that the Israeli police are threatening to arrest the family members if they refuse to leave. Qaraqe urged rapid action to save his life and end administrative detention at a solidarity protest outside Allan’s home in Ainabous, near Nablus.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has stated that Allan is at risk of death, urging he be permitted family visits. “We believe that Mr Allaan’s life is at immediate risk,” said Jacques de Maio, the head of the ICRC’s delegation in Israel and the occupied territories, reported Amira Hass in Ha’aretz. “His family has been unable to visit him since 22 March, and they are very anxious about him. Given the current circumstances, we ask the Israeli authorities to allow them to see him as a matter of urgency.”
Allan is facing a severely dangerous medical situation; he is consuming only water which he is now vomiting. He is also vomiting blood, dizzy and often unable to walk. On Sunday, a protest will be held outside Soroka Hospital, in which members of the Knesset who are Palestinians from 1948 Palestine will participate, urging Allan’s release.
The Knesset passed a law permitting force-feeding with a court order last month. The law has been denounced by the World Medical Association, the Israeli Medical Association, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, among dozens of civil society organizations. Force-feeding is considered inhumane, cruel and degrading treatment amounting to torture; it is violent and dangerous and threatens lives. The Israeli Medical Association has stated that doctors will refuse to implement the force-feeding practice, similar to one used against detainees held by the U.S. in Guantanamo Bay military prison.
“Force-feeding detainees is a form of torture that may result in murder and violates a detainee’s right to object receiving treatment as well as his/her right to his dignity and physical autonomy. It legalizes torture and grossly violates medical ethics and relevant international [human rights] conventions and standards,” said Jawad ‘Awad, Palestinian health minister.
Three Palestinian prisoners – Ali al-Jaafari, Rasim Halaweh and Ishaq Maragheh – were killed by Israeli force feeding in the early 1980s and the new force-feeding law is clearly intended to undermine the gains and accomplishments of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement obtained through hunger strikes, the most recent being the release of Khader Adnan on 12 July.
1. Sign on: Send a letter demanding Allan’s freedom, and that he not be force-fed. Israeli officials must hear the voice of the world demanding that this threat of torture be stopped, and that Allan, imprisoned without charge or trial, be freed.
2. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy in your area. Bring posters and flyers about administrative detention and Palestinian hunger strikers and hold a protest, or join a protest with this important information. Hold a community event or discussion, or include this issue in your next event about Palestine and social justice. Please email us at email@example.com to inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.
3. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. G4S, a global security corporation, is heavily involved in providing services to Israeli prisons that jail Palestinian political prisoners – there is a global call to boycott it. Palestinian political prisoners have issued a specific call urging action on G4S. Learn more about BDS atbdsmovement.net.
I write today to call for an immediate release of Palestinian hunger striker Muhammad Allan, held without charge or trial under administrative detention. He has been on hunger strike for over 50 days.
With equal emphasis, I demand that Muhammad Allan not be subject to force-feeding. Force feeding is cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment – it is a form of torture that threatens Allan’s life. It violates international conventions and medical codes of ethics.
I also demand the end of the use of administrative detention. Like 400 other Palestinians, Allan is being held without charge or trial and under secret evidence. There is no justification for administrative detention.
The life of Muhammad Allan – and the lives of thousands of Palestinian prisoners- is precious to me and to people around the world. The eyes of the world are on these case, and the government of Israel is fully responsible for Muhammad Allan’s life. This young Palestinian lawyer must be freed, and must not be subject to the torture of force-feeding.
Allan must be released immediately and without condition, along with his fellow administrative detainees and the law allowing force-feeding immediately rescinded.