Ban: Charge or release administrative detainees

UN secretary-general expresses concern for Palestinian hunger strikers, urging a resolution "without delay."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Minzayar)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Minzayar)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called for Palestinians being held by Israel under administrative detention to be brought to trial or set free.
Ban expressed concern for the medical condition of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli prisons, "especially those held in what is known as administrative detention," a spokesperson said.
The secretary-general emphasized that "those detained must be charged and face trial with judicial guarantees, or released without delay."
In order to avert any further deterioration in the hunger-strikers' health, he urged all parties to find a solution without delay.
Over 1,400 Palestinian prisoners have been on a mass hunger strike for over three weeks in protest of administrative detention, the use of solitary confinement, visitation and education privileges. Six prisoners have refused food for between 50 and 72 days.
Earlier this week, the International Committee of the Red Cross called on Israel to transfer six Palestinians who have been on hunger strike for weeks to hospital and allow visits from their families.
In a statement, the humanitarian agency said that the six are in "imminent danger of dying", although it upheld their right to choose whether or not they wanted to receive treatment.
In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said there would be serious repercussions if any of the prisoners died.
"The most tragic thing is if you look at the list of demands they have presented Israel ... they are generally related to the basic rights of prisoners," he said in the West Bank city of Ramallah. "There is a clear violation of the Geneva conventions."
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously to uphold the administrative detention of the two longest-striking prisoners, Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh.
Joanna Paraszczuk and Reuters contributed to this report.