8th week of hunger strike, Khader Adnan Mousa close to death
UPDATED Sunday 12th February
For background to this story see Life of man in administrative detention at risk from hunger strike
Israel must release or try Palestinian detainee on prolonged hunger strike
News, Amnesty International
The Israeli authorities must release a Palestinian detainee or charge him with a recognizable criminal offence and promptly try him, Amnesty International said today amid fears the man could die in detention after more than 50 days on hunger strike.
Khader Adnan, 33, was arrested on 17 December 2011 at his home in the village of Arrabe near Jenin in the occupied West Bank, after Israeli security forces burst into his home in the early hours of the morning.
Mr Adnan, a baker, is allegedly affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement.
On Wednesday a military court conducted a review of Khader Adnan’s case but the judge has yet to announce the outcome – release, his detention shortened or the order confirmed.
“For years Israel has been using administrative detention to lock up Palestinian activists without charge or trial, said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East.
“Military commanders can renew the detention orders repeatedly, so in effect detainees can be held indefinitely. The process violates their right to a fair trial which is guaranteed by international law Israel is obliged to uphold.”
Khader Adnan, who is also a post-graduate student, has been on hunger strike since 18 December in protest against his ill-treatment, the conditions of his detention, and the policy of administrative detention.
The Israeli military commander in the West Bank imposed a four-month administrative detention order on him last month.
The baker has been hospitalized since 30 December as his health deteriorated. He has not been allowed any family visits and the Israeli authorities have since moved him to various different hospitals around the country.
He was transferred to Ziv hospital in northern Israel on Sunday, in a move which his lawyers believe is intended to add further pressure on him, including by making it harder for his lawyers and family to visit him y.
“The Israeli authorities must release Khader Adnan and other Palestinians held in administrative detention, unless they are promptly charged with internationally recognizable criminal offences and tried in accordance with international fair trial standards,” Ann Harrison added.
He has reportedly lost more than 20 kilos since he began his hunger strike, and his health has reached a critical stage. On 29 January, he was visited by doctors from Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, who gave him a medical check and warned that his life is at risk. He has since been denied further examination by independent doctors.
His hunger strike has prompted demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and last week other Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails announced a hunger strike in solidarity.
Administrative detention, a procedure under which detainees considered a threat to Israeli security are held without charge or trial for periods of up to six months, can be renewed indefinitely.
No criminal charges are filed against administrative detainees and there is no intention of bringing them to trial.
Detainees are held on the basis of “secret evidence” which the Israeli military authorities claim cannot be revealed for security reasons.
The “secret evidence” on which the military authorities base their decision to issue an administrative detention order is not made available to detainees or their lawyers, and detainees cannot challenge the reasons for their detention.
According to Israel’s prison service some 307 Palestinians were being held in administrative detention on 31 December last year, but this number may have since increased.
Twenty-one members of the Palestinian Legislative Council are currently being held in administrative detention.
Amnesty International believes that the practice of administrative detention in Israel and the Occupied Territories violates the internationally recognized right to a fair trial which must be upheld for all detainees, even during states of emergency.
“Israeli military law applied in the Occupied Palestinian Territories gives the authorities wide latitude to charge and try in military courts those individuals who they believe threaten Israeli security,” said Ann Harrison.
“Despite this, the Israeli authorities continue to use administrative detention to detain Palestinians without any charges whatsoever. These have included individuals who should not have been arrested at all and were prisoners of conscience.
“Anyone now held solely for the non-violent exercise of their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly must be released immediately and unconditionally.”
On Sunday, the Palestinian Prisoner Society said that Israeli authorities have transferred al-Sheikh Khader Adnan Mousa, who has been on hunger strike for the past 47 days in rejection of the administrative detention policy, to Bikur Holim hospital in Jerusalem, due to his deteriorating health.
In a report that was issued by the Society, Khader’s lawyer said that the prisoner was admitted to the cardiothoracic department in the hospital, stating that his life is in danger.
He also said that Israeli authorities have allowed him to visit Khader for only three minutes and that Khader’s hands and one of his legs were cuffed. Doctors informed the lawyer that his health condition is poor and that he was vomiting “gastric juice” of the stomach and the appendix.
Khader thanked the Prisoner Society for their care and for following his case, moment by moment, for their visits and efforts to expose the Israeli policies.
The president of the Prisoner Society , Qadura Fares, expressed his extreme concern about Khader’s life and called on everyone to save the life of al-Sheikh Khader.
Qadura also announced a huge popular solidarity campaign in Palestine’s governorates, with the participation of all the institutions, if Israel doesn’t release him.
Qadura has announced that the protest demonstration will be tomorrow; Tuesday, 7th February. The lawyers are also prepared to boycott the Israeli Military Courts, protesting against the arrest of Khader who considered the international society’s silence about Israel’s human rights violations as a disgrace.
An international NGO on Saturday called on Israel to “immediately charge or release” a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for the past 56 days.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement Israel should “immediately end its unlawful administrative detention” of Khader Adnan, who has refused food since December 18, and “charge or release him.”
Adnan, who was arrested near the northern West Bank city of Jenin on December 17, had served as a spokesman for Islamic Jihad, but Israel has not charged him formally or revealed any evidence against him.
His hunger strike, longer than any Palestinian prisoner before him, according to Palestinian officials, is in protest over what he calls his unjust detention and mistreatment by Israeli authorities.
On Saturday, hundreds of Palestinians held a protest outside the Ofer prison in the West Bank in solidarity with Adnan and hurled rocks at security forces, an Israeli military spokesman said.
The security forces used riot dispersal methods, and activists said 16 protesters were wounded by rubber bullets and tear gas.
In addition, two Israelis and two Palestinians were arrested in a separate rally for Adnan in the West Bank village of Beit Omar, the military and activists said.
Last month, a military court ordered that Adnan be held in administrative detention for four months, although with his condition frail and worsening, he has been held mostly in a string of Israeli hospitals since early January.
Under Israeli military law, a court can order an individual held for up to six months at a time without charge, although the order can be appealed.
On Thursday, he appealed his detention without charge before an Israeli military judge sitting in a special session in hospital, but the court is not expected to rule before Sunday, his lawyer told AFP.
“Israel should end, today, before it’s too late, its almost two-month-long refusal to inform Adnan of any criminal charge or evidence against him,” Whitson said.
On Friday, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, called on Israel “to do everything in its power to preserve the health of the prisoner and resolve this case while abiding by all legal obligations under international law.”
Khader Adnan, detained without charge for two months, may be close to death say human rights groups
Harriet Sherwood, guardian.co.uk
JERUSALEM—A Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for more than eight weeks is being kept shackled to a hospital bed by the Israeli authorities, despite warnings that he may be close to death.
Khader Adnan, 33, has been held without charge under “administrative detention” since mid-December. The Israeli military authorities have refused to tell his lawyer what he is accused of or disclose any evidence against him.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) called for Israel to either charge or release Adnan. “He may be approaching death from his hunger strike, and yet Israel is chaining him to his hospital bed without bothering to even charge him with any wrongdoing,” said Sarah Leah Watson, HRW’s Middle East director.
HRW cited a 2006 study by the British Medical Association based on a study of the Northern Ireland hunger strikes in 1980 and 1981, in which 10 republican prisoners starved themselves to death. “Death generally occurred between 55 and 75 days,” the BMA said. Bobby Sands, who was elected as a member of the British parliament during the strike, died on the 66th day.
Adnan was arrested at 3.30am on 17 December at his home near the West Bank city of Jenin. His wife, Randa, who is expecting the couple’s third child, said no reason was given for his arrest. Adnan was later given an administrative detention order for four months, and is currently being detained in an Israeli hospital in Safed.
Adnan has previously been arrested nine times and was convicted of being a spokesman for Islamic Jihad, a militant organisation banned by Israel, his wife told HRW.
According to his lawyer, after his arrest Adnan was kept in solitary confinement for four days, and was subject to physical and verbal abuse, threats and prolonged interrogation.
His family visited him last week, reporting that he appeared to have lost around a third of his body weight. The family, his lawyer and doctors from Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) all said he was shackled to his bed. According to PHR, he has been transferred to five different hospitals over an eight-day period.
A protest over Adnan’s detention and in solidarity with his hunger strike at the Ofer military court and prison near Jerusalem on Saturday was met with teargas and rubber bullets fired by Israeli border police. Sixteen people were injured by rubber bullets.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli prison service said Adnan was being dealt with in accordance to his “definition as a security-administrative prisoner” and with humanitarian sensitivity. “As an exception, the IPS allowed the prisoner’s family members to visit as well as religious figures and allowed several meetings with representatives and doctors from Physicians for Human Rights. The prisoner is hospitalised in a public hospital and is co-operating with doctors.”
More than 300 Palestinians are being held by Israel under administrative detention orders, according to Addameer, a Palestinian prisoners’ support group.