Hunger-striking student’s detention “suspended;” Malik al-Qadi continues strike for freedom on 55th day

malik-alqadiThe Israeli Supreme Court suspended the administrative detention of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Malik al-Qadi on 9 September. Al-Qadi, 20, a journalism student at al-Quds University, has been on hunger strike for 55 days and is demanding his freedom from imprisonment without charge or trial. He has been imprisoned by Israeli occupation forces since 23 May and launched his hunger strike on 16 July; his May arrest came only weeks after spending four prior months imprisoned, again in administrative detention without charge or trial.

Al-Qadi has emphasized that he is continuing his hunger strike and does not regard the “suspension” as a resolution to his case. The suspension of administrative detention does not end his imprisonment, but only mitigates conditions of confinement in Wolfson hospital, where he is imprisoned. He will not be shackled to the bed and may receive family and legal visits and phone calls. However, the detention order against him for imprisonment without charge or trial remains in place, to be applied once more should his health condition improve. Al-Qadi is joined on hunger strike by the brothers Mahmoud and Mohammed al-Balboul, on strike since 4 July and 7 July respectively, whose own detention was suspended by the Supreme Court only days ago. All three are in very serious health situations and have experienced significant weight loss, physical pain, inability to walk and, in the case of Mohammed al-Balboul, loss of sight. All are threatened with significant damage to their organs. All three have rejected the suspensions as failing to address the issue of administrative detention and are continuing their hunger strikes for freedom.

An appeal hearing on al-Qadi’s administrative detention will take place on Sunday, 11 September.

On 6 September, the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council issued a statement urging the release of the three. “The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) and the Palestinian Commission for Prisoners’ Affairs call for the immediate release of hunger striking administrative detainees Mohammad Al-Balboul,  Mahmoud Al-Balboul, and Malek Al-Qadi, who are on hunger strike in protest of their administrative detention without charge or trial.” They are among 750 Palestinians held without charge or trial under administrative detention and 7000 total Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.

Protests have continued in Palestine and internationally in support of the three strikers. Mohammed al-Balboul, a dentist, recently opened his practice in Jenin; fellow dentists have engaged in several rallies of support for him and his fellow Palestinian prisoners. The cases of the three strikers will also be raised today at the annual Fete de la Humanite in Paris and in a rally in central Berlin, Germany.

At this critical time, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network reiterates the urgent need for solidarity to support the hunger-striking prisoners.  All are facing critical threats to their life and health at a time when the Israeli state is attempting to mislead the public by “suspending” their detentions but maintaining their imprisonment without charge or trial. These three Palestinian prisoners are on the front lines of the struggle for justice not only for themselves, but for the Palestinian people.

Now is the time for urgent action to support Mahmoud al-Balboul, Mohammed al-Balboul and Malik al-Qadi in their struggle for freedom.

1Hold a direct action, protest, picket or demonstration, including building the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to internationally isolate Israel, its institutions, and the corporations – like G4S -that profit from imprisonment, occupation, racism, colonialism and injustice. Demand freedom for the Balboul brothers, al-Qadi and all Palestinian prisoners.  Please email or post to Samidoun on Facebook about your events and actions.

2. Call political figures to demand action for the three hunger strikers. Call your government officials to pressure them to end the silence and complicity with the Israeli regime of political imprisonment and administrative detention.

Call during your country’s regular office hours:

  • Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop: + 61 2 6277 7500
  • Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion: +1-613-996-5789
  • European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
  • New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully: +64 4 439 8000
  • United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: +44 20 7008 1500
  • United States President Barack Obama: 1-202-456-1111

Tell your government:

  1. Three Palestinian prisoners, Mahmoud al-Balboul, Mohammed al-Balboul and Malik al-Qadi, have been on hunger strike since July against administrative detention, Israeli imprisonment without charge or trial.
  2. Your government must demand the strikers’ immediate release and end all support for Israel’s political imprisonment and other crimes against Palestinians.
  3. Israel’s use of administrative detention is a universally-recognized violation of human rights and international law.
  4. The government must do more than criticize administrative detention or express concern, but should also take serious measures to end these violations.