Military judge denies appeal by hunger striker

Palestinian detainee currently in the 58th day of a hunger strike.

February 14, 2012 02:20
3 minute read.
Child holds picture of Khader Adnan

Child holds picture of Khader Adnan 390.


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A military judge on Monday denied an appeal by a Palestinian detainee currently in the 58th day of a hunger strike.

One of detainee Khader Adnan’s attorneys, Tamar Peleg-Sryck, who was supplied by the organization Hamoked: The Center for the Defense of the Individual, said Adnan’s appeal was rejected on the argument that because he is allegedly part of a terrorist organization, any and all acts he carries out with said organization [Islamic Jihad] endanger the safety of the area.

When asked if she thinks Adnan will be released in May or if his detention will be renewed, Peleg-Sryck said she is not sure, but “he probably won’t make it that long either way. I don’t see him stopping the hunger strike without them releasing him and I don’t see him surviving the four months.”

Adnan, 33, from Arraba near Jenin, has been on hunger strike since his arrest by IDF troops on December 17 of last year. On January 8, his four-month administrative detention went into effect and is scheduled to end May 8.

Adnan called the strike over what he said was his abusive treatment at the hands of soldiers during his arrest, and in order to shine light on “administrative detentions,” a legal procedure in the West Bank in which Palestinian security detainees can be held without charge and without the ability to see the evidence against them. The detention is usually for around up to six months, but can be renewed afterwards indefinitely.

Adnan is, according to various reports, either a former spokesman or political figure within the terrorist organization Islamic Jihad in the West Bank. Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has not said why he was arrested.

A spokeswoman from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, which has sent a private doctor to examine Adnan, said the doctor told her “the clock is ticking,” but would not divulge further information in order to avoid infringing upon patient-doctor confidentiality.

The spokeswoman said reports that Adnan has stopped drinking water are not true, saying if those reports were true, Adnan would no longer be alive.

She also pointed out how famed Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands died in 1981 after 66 days on hunger strike.

According to the spokesman, Adnan remains shackled by his feet and one hand to his hospital bed at Safed’s Galilee Medical Faculty, even though in her words, he cannot stand up on his own.

B’Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli said Monday that in administrative detentions “the person arrested doesn’t know the charges and can’t fight them in court. There is an appeals process, in which the judge will hear your appeal, but it’s not an actual trial, there’s no evidence or a charge. The administrative detention order is based on secret evidence and you won’t be able to hear the evidence against you and challenge it.”

Michaeli said such detentions are allowed under international law but only in extreme cases where the person is posing an immediate danger.

“The way that Israel is applying AD [administrative detention] far exceeds the very narrow, restricted allowance of the law for detention without due process,” Michaeli said.

Michaeli said according to figures B’Tselem has received from the Prisons Service, there were 307 Palestinians on administrative detention at the end of December 2011, up from 219 in January 2011.

Michaeli said that of these, 29 percent were held for six months to one year, 24% for between one and two years, and 17% for between two and four years. She said there is also one prisoner who has been on administrative detention for more than five years.

Protests have been held in his support of Adnan in the West Bank and Gaza over the past week, and a number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons have gone on hunger strike as a sign of solidarity with Adnan. The past week has also seen violent clashes outside Ofer Prison between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security personnel.

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