Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association issued the following update on their legal visit with the hunger strikers in the Battle of Breaking the Chains on 8 September:
Ramallah- 8/9/2015- On their 10th day of hunger strike, administrative detainees reported to Adv. Samer Samaan during a visit he conducted in Ela, Ashkelon and Eshel prisons that they will continue with the “breaking the shackles” battle to end administrative detention policy and to guarantee a life of freedom for themselves and for everyone who has ever suffered from administrative detention, confirming that their will not be broken.
The five administrative detainees, Ghassan Zawahreh (34 years old), Shadi Maali (39 years old), Nidal Abu Aker (48 years old), Munir Abu Sharar (31 year old) and Bader Ruzzeh (27 years old) launched an open hunger strike on 30/8/2015 as a continuation to the escalatory steps they started on 20 August 2015 in protest of administrative detention policy after which the prison’s administration placed them in isolation in Negev, Ashkelon, Ela and Eshel prisons.
The hunger striking administrative detainee Ghassan Zawahreh stated to Addameer lawyer, who visited him on Sunday at Eshel isolation in Beersheba, that he is being held in a 100 x 180 centimeter room that only fits the mattress and does not have a toilet. As a result Zawahreh decided to stop taking water for one day to protest the conditions he is forced to live in. The prison’s administration transferred him to a slightly bigger cell that contains a bunk bed and a toilet. However, the cell does not have a shower or a sink and he was not allowed to have clothes other than the prison’s “Shabas” uniform. He also was not provided with a blanket and was not allowed to go to the fora (prisoners’ recreation time).
As for his health condition, Zawahreh stated that he gets a blood pressure test on daily basis and that he lost 11 kilograms of weight. He added that he will stop medical examinations in the future in protest of denying him his right to go to the fora and to shower, as well as denying him access to regular clothing.
Shadi Maali confirmed to Adv. Samaan, who visited him on Sunday at Ela isolation, that he stopped taking water on 6/9/2015 to this moment in protest of the behavior of the intelligence officer who tried to provoke Maali by putting food and water in front of his cell. Maali added that he is being held in a 200 x 300cm cell that contains a bunk bed, a shower, a sink and two blankets. The prison’s administration did not give him his personal belongings and clothes and he has lost 8 kilograms since the initiation of the hunger strike.
As for Ashkelon isolation, the hunger striking administrative detainee Nidal Abu Aker told Adv. Samaan, who visited him on 3/9/2015, that he is being held in a 150 x 180 cm cell that contains a bunk bed, a toilet and a shower. When he needs to get out of the cell, his hands and feet are shackled.
Abu Aker stated that he has lost 8 kilograms since the beginning of the hunger strike. He refuses to take the medications he used to take before starting the hunger strike (blood pressure medication and four other medications). Abu Aker added that he is starting feel pain in both his legs as a result of the implanted platinum.
Addameer expresses its full support and solidarity with the administrative detainees and their legitimate demands and rejection of the arbitrary administrative detention policy. Addameer believes that the systematic use of administrative detention by the Israeli occupation forces is a form of torture and a violation of Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, a crime against humanity according to Article 7 of the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court, and a war crime according to Article 8.
Addameer demands the immediate release of all administrative detainees and the fulfillment of their rights in accordance with international law. Addameer calls upon solidarity organizations, human rights organizations and individuals around the world to join the campaign to end administrative detention while emphasizing the necessity of popular support for Palestinian prisoners and detainees.
It should be mentioned that by the end of August 2015, the number of administrative detainees held in the occupation’s prisons had exceeded 350 detainees. About 50 administrative detainees began boycotting the military courts in July 2015 to emphasize the falsity of these courts that depend on secret information that neither the detainee nor his lawyer can review, in addition to their utilization as a tool to legitimize the occupation’s policy of arbitrary detention.