Palestinian former hunger striker ordered again to administrative detention as strikes and protests continue

akram-alfassisiAkram al-Fassisi, Palestinian former long-term hunger striker and administrative detainee held repeatedly without charge or trial in Israeli jails, was once again ordered to six months imprisonment without charge or trial on Wednesday, 28 September. Al-Fassisi, who has spent most of the past five years in Israeli prison and especially under various administrative detention orders, was arrested again on 20 September from his home in Ethna village near al-Khalil.

He had last been released from Israeli imprisonment in July 2016 after 20 months of imprisonment without charge or trial under administrative detention. Al-Fassisi had been re-arrested in November 2014 after his release in September 2014 after being held without charge or trial since November 2012. He had previously been imprisoned from February 2011 to July 2012, accused of membership in the Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine.

During his previous imprisonment, he conducted a 70-day hunger strike in 2013 to demand his release from administrative detention, during which he was held in isolation. He also participated in collective hunger strikes including the 2012 Karameh hunger strike.

Al-Fassisi is married with four children. He is among over 700 Palestinians held in administrative detention, and over 7,000 total Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

Thaer Halahleh, a fellow Palestinian prisoner held under administrative detention without charge or trial and long-term hunger striker subjected to repeated re-arrests, was ordered to an additional three months in administrative detention. His lawyer, Ahmad Safiyeh of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, reported that this will be the final administrative detention order against him and that he will be released in three months. He also affirmed that he will continue all legal challenges against Halahleh’s continued detention. Halahleh has been imprisoned without charge or trial since August 2014; this is the sixth renewal of his administrative detention.

Three fellow Palestinian prisoners, Anas Ibrahim Shahid, Ahmad Abu Farah and Omar al-Hih, launched a hunger strike on Sunday, 25 September against their own administrative detention without charge or trial, while Jawad al-Jawarish is striking against the repeated arbitrary transfer and mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners. As Jawarish began his strike, the Israeli prison administration on 28 September transferred the 144 Palestinian prisoners held in Eshel prison to other Israeli jails, emptying the prison of Palestinian political prisoners. In addition, prominent imprisoned Hamas movement leader Ibrahim Hamed was transferred on 29 September from Gilboa to Hadarim prison after only three weeks in Gilboa, during which he was denied family visits.

Constant transfers are used as a means to disrupt prisoner organizing and prisoner life; they also make legal visits and family visits more difficult and complex