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Palestinian hunger strikers insist on gaining their freedom even if the cost is their lives

5 December 2012 | Addameer

Ayman Sharawnah, 158 days on hunger strike

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association expresses its deep concern for the health and lives of five Palestinian political prisoners that are on hunger strike to protest their unjust detention in Israeli Occupation’s prisons. The five current hunger strikers are: Ayman Sharawna (158 days), Samer Al-Issawi (127 days), Oday Keilani (46 days), Jafar Azzidine (8) and Tarek Qa’adan (8 days).

On 3 December Addameer lawyer Fares Zayyad visited Ramleh prison clinic and met with two of the hunger striking prisoners, Ayman Sharawneh and Samer Al-Issawi. He also attempted to meet with Oday Keilani but was denied by the prison administration. Oday Keilani has been held under administrative detention since 3 April 2011 and on hunger strike for 46 days to protest the recent renewal of  his administrative detention.

Samer Issawi (who was previously released in the prisoners exchange deal) has been on a partial hunger strike for 127 days. Despite the rapid deterioration in his health Samer insists that he will not end his hunger strike unless he gains his freedom or dies.

On a number of recent occasions Samer was transferred to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center after severe decreases in his pulse, which at one point dropped to 48 beats per minute, but was transferred back to Ramleh prison clinic once his condition slightly improved. He was only admitted to the intensive care unit when his heart fell to 36 beats per minute. Initially Samer refused treatment but was threatened with a glucose injection by force, a very dangerous and life threatening procedure, and therefore was forced to comply and accept medical treatment. He was transferred back to Ramleh prison clinic on 29 November 2012.

Addameer lawyer Fares Zayyad confirms that despite Samer’s strength and resistance, he is suffering from many ailments and at times faints unexpectedly. Like the other prisoners, Samer is not being treated as an ill patient by the Ramleh prison clinic. On Saturday 1 December 2012 during an examination with the prison clinic doctor, Samer tried to stand and lost consciousness. Instead of assisting him, the doctor left him lying on the floor and exited the room.

Ayman Sharawneh (36 years old) has been on hunger strike for 158 days. He was previously released in the prisoners exchange deal and re-arrested on 31 January 2012. Israeli intelligence officer’s conducts daily sessions with Ayman in an attempt to pressure him to end his hunger strike. However Ayman refuses to end his strike without written confirmation that he will be released.

Addameer holds the Israeli occupation totally responsible for the health and lives of all of the hunger strikers, and considers the protection of their lives a national and moral duty of all Palestinians.

Addameer calls on the Palestinian leadership represented by the PLO and Islamic factions to call for the freedom of the prisoners and support their cause, and calls for Egypt, the sponsor of the October 2011 prison exchange deal, to intervene and pressure the IOF to release the hunger strikers immediately and without conditions.

ACT NOW!

Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand the release of the hunger strikers:

Brigadier General Danny Efroni
Military Judge Advocate General
6 David Elazar Street
Harkiya, Tel Aviv
Israel
Fax: +972 3 608 0366; +972 3 569 4526
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]

Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon
OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
Fax: +972 2 530 5741
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak
Ministry of Defense
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757

Col. Eli Bar On
Legal Advisor of Judea and Samaria PO Box 5
Beth El 90631
Fax: +972 2 9977326

Write to your own elected representatives urging them to pressure Israel to release the hunger strikers.