Palestinian administrative detainee launches hunger strike to protest detention renewal

Palestinian administrative detainee Mohammed Naser Khader Alaqimah, 27, from the village of Barta’a near occupied Jenin, launched a hunger strike three days ago, on 26 December. He has begun striking to protest the renewal of his administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial – for the second time, and is demanding his release.

Alaqimah’s brother Munir spoke to Asra Voice radio, saying that his brother was seized by occupation forces at the Barta’a checkpoint on 15 August and was ordered to four months in administrative detention without charge or trial. His detention was renewed for another four months a few days ago, prompting Mohammed to launch his strike. Alaqimah is married with two children and previously spent several months in administrative detention without charge or trial in 2013. He suffers from migraine headaches and is particularly vulnerable to physical effects of hunger strike.

Alaqimah is one of over 700 Palestinians – out of over 7,000 total Palestinian political prisoners – held without charge or trial under administrative detention. A number of detainees, most recently Anas Shadid, Ahmad Abu Fara and Ammar Hmour, have conducted long-term hunger strikes demanding their release. Administrative detention orders are issued for one to six months at a time; they are indefinitely renewable solely on the basis of secret evidence, and Palestinians have spent years at a time in jail under administrative detention.

Shadid and Abu Fara ended their strike with a commitment to release them next June, while Ammar Hmour earlier suspended his strike pending a court hearing in his case. He was issued a final confirmed date of an end of his administrative detention without charge or trial, reported his brother, stating that Hmour will be released in mid-June 2017.