Geneva, Thursday May 25, 2017
The plight of 1600 Palestinian hunger strikers held illegally in Israeli dungeons has deteriorated so much that it has even moved the lethargic UN human rights body to react.
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) raised alarm over the health conditions of Palestinian hunger strikers into their 40th day.
“I am especially alarmed by reports of punitive measures by the Israeli authorities against the hunger strikers, including restricted access to lawyers and the denial of family visits,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein in a statement on May 24 from his headquarter in Geneva.
Dubbed the ‘Freedom and Dignity Strike’, more than 1,600 Palestinian prisoners have been refusing to eat food since April 17, as part of a protest action.
They are demanding basic rights, such as an end to administrative detention, solitary confinement, and Israel’s refusal to provide proper medical care to sick prisoners.
The Palestinians are held without charge or trial in what the Zionist occupation regime has dubbed ‘administrative detention’. Under this policy, Palestinians are arrested and kept in prison for six months. No charges are laid; hence there is no trial.
At the end of the six-month period, the prisoners’ detention is renewed for another six months. And it goes on and on with some Palestinians held in Israeli prisons for more than 11 years.
While the Zionist regime calls itself the “only democracy in the Middle East”, it does not adhere to even the minimum standards required of an occupying power under the Geneva Conventions.
According to figures provided last January by the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group, Addameer, there are more than 6,500 Palestinians languishing in Israeli dungeons. Nearly 700 of them are currently held in administrative detention.
Among the Palestinian prisoners are hundreds of women and children.
Known for their sadistic practices, the Zionists use inhumane and degrading tactics to punish the hunger-striking prisoners. Visits by families and lawyers, legal under international law, are denied. Since the strike began on April 17, they have been locked up in solitary confinement as well.
Some Zionist guards even threaten the women and children with sexual assault.
In his statement of concern about the plight of the Palestinian hunger strikers, the UN human rights chief said that according to international human rights law, the right to consult an attorney was a “fundamental protection” and should “never” be violated.
Zeid also said the health conditions of the hundreds of hunger strikers had “deteriorated significantly.”
Lawyers with the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society revealed that at least 60 imprisoned hunger strikers in Ohalei Kedar prison had been moved to infirmaries, set up in the prison, for observation. Many of the hospitalized inmates were in serious condition, the lawyers added.
On May 16, the Arabic-language al-Aqsa satellite television network reported that 76 hunger strikers in Israel’s Ofer prison had been taken to the Hadrim field hospital for treatment and possible force-feeding, adding that 36 other hunger strikers from the same jail had been taken to the hospital for observation the previous day.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), allowed infrequent visits to Palestinian prisoners, called earlier this month on the Israeli authorities to end administrative detention and to allow family visits.
It said that under international law, the visits “can only be limited for security reasons, on a case by case basis, but never for strictly punitive or disciplinary purposes.”
Since Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention have never been charged with any crime, much less convicted even in an Israeli kangaroo court, the denial of family visits is another violation of their fundamental rights.
It is interesting to note that while this information is available publicly, the self-appointed leader of the Muslim world, King Salman bin Abdulaziz that prostrated before his American master Donald Trump who flew to Tel Aviv from Riyadh, never even whispered about the plight of the Palestinian hunger strikers.
What kind of a ‘leader’ is he? This sounds more like a slave of the enemies of Allah and a follower of Shaytan.