Hassan al-Aweiwi suspends hunger strike after 69 days

Photo: Hassan al-Aweiwi

Palestinian political prisoner Hassan al-Aweiwi suspended his hunger strike on 10 June after Israeli prison officials conceded an end date for his administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. Al-Aweiwi, 35, had maintained his hunger strike for 69 days. Last Thursday, 6 June, he was transferred to Barzilai hospital due to the severe deterioration of his health.

The Prisoners’ Affairs Commission announced that Aweiwi’s hunger strike had forced the Israeli occupation to concede, saying that “the negotiations between the prisoner, the prison administration and intelligence services earlier concluded an agreement to release him six months after the end of his first administrative detention order.”  This will be a “final” administrative detention order and he will be released after its completion.

He was seized from his home on 15 January 2019 and ordered to administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial. There are currently approximately 500 Palestinians, out of a total of 5,400 Palestinian prisoners, held under administrative detention. Detention orders can be issued for up to six months at a time and are indefinitely renewable; Palestinians have been jailed for years at a time under administrative detention.

He launched his hunger strike on 2 April 2019 to demand his release from administrative detention. Since that time, he has been subjected to ongoing retaliation, including isolation, delayed legal visits and denied family visits. Aweiwi is married and the father of three children. His mother launched her own hunger strike two days ago to draw attention and support for her son’s case, especially after he reached a dangerous health situation.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the steadfastness of Hassan al-Aweiwi and his struggle for justice and liberation. His achievement echoes those of many earned by Palestinian prisoners through courageous struggle with their bodies and lives on the line. We urge the broadest campaign to bring an end to administrative detention and win liberation for all Palestinian prisoners behind Israeli bars.