Document - Israel/OPT: Further Information: Palestinian detainee resumes hunger strike: Samer al-Barq

URGENT ACTION

Further information on UA: 119/12 Index: MDE 15/056/2012 Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories Date: 18 October 2012

URGENT ACTION

PALESTINIAN DETAINEE RESUMES HUNGER STRIKE

After the Israeli authorities did not fulfil their promise to transfer Palestinian administrative detainee Samer al-Barq to Egypt, he resumed his hunger strike on 14 October, only three weeks after ending a four-month hunger strike. He and former hunger striker Hassan Safadi, also held without charge or trial, are still being denied the medical attention they need.

When Samer al-Barq’s family visited him on 11 October for the first time in a year, he said he intended to resume his strike in protest against his continued detention without charge or trial, Israel’s policy of administrative detention, and the authorities’ failure to provide him with appropriate medical care. He told his family that he would continue his hunger strike unless he is released to his home town of Jayyus, in the West Bank, or brought to trial. The family said he appeared to have lost about half his body weight and suffers from severe stomach pain.

A lawyer from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR) who visited him on 17 October said that he is now weaker than ever. There are conflicting reports about whether he is still drinking water or not.

The Israel Prison Service (IPS) have refused numerous requests from PHR for an independent doctor to visit Samer al-Barq, other hunger strikers in detention and Hassan Safadi, who ended his three-month hunger strike around 21 September. His appeal to the High Court of Justice against his administrative detention order was heard on 18 October, though no decision was issued. On 10 October he was moved from the IPS medical facility at Ramleh prison to Hadarim prison, despite his fragility. During their hunger strikes, he and Samer al-Barq spent brief periods in a public hospital, often shackled to their hospital beds, before being returned to the prison clinic. Throughout their strikes, they were consistently denied close specialist supervision and treatment in a fully-equipped hospital, and were repeatedly subjected to ill-treatment.

Please write immediately in Hebrew, English or your own language:

Calling on the authorities to ensure that Samer al-Barq, Hassan Safadi and all hunger strikers in Israeli custody receive all necessary specialized medical treatment that is only available in a civilian hospital, are given regular access to doctors of their choice, and are not subjected to shackling or other cruel or inhuman treatment;

Calling for all administrative detainees to be released, unless they are promptly charged with recognizable criminal offences and tried according to international fair trial standards and, while held, to have regular family visits.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 29 NOVEMBER 2012 TO:

Israel Prison Service Commissioner

Lieutenant-General Aharon Franco

Israel Prison Service, PO Box 81

Ramleh 72100, Israel

Fax: +972 8 919 3800

Salutation: Dear Lieutenant-General

Director General, Ministry of Health

Dr. Roni Gamzo

Ministry of Health

2 Ben Tabai Street

Jerusalem 93591, Israel

Fax: +972 2 565 5966

Salutation: Dear Director General

And copies to:

Minister of Public Security

Yitzhak Aharonovitch

Ministry of Public Security

Kiryat Hamemshala

Jerusalem 91181, Israel

Fax: +972 2 584 7872

Email: sar@mops.gov.il

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the tenth update of UA 119/12. Further information: http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/052/2012/en

URGENT ACTION

PALESTINIAN DETAINEE RESUMES HUNGER STRIKE

ADditional Information

Samer al-Barq, 37, has been held in administrative detention without charge or trial by Israel since 11 July 2010, when he was transferred to Israeli military custody by the Jordanian authorities, who had previously detained him without charge or trial for over four years. His lawyer told Amnesty International that the Israeli authorities have not interrogated him during his detention. He ended a first hunger strike after 30 days on 14 May 2012, but resumed it on 22 May after his detention order was renewed for three months. His detention order was subsequently renewed on 22 August. During his second hunger strike he was shackled to a hospital bed at times, and reported to lawyers that he was beaten and verbally abused by prison guards. Amnesty International understood from Samer al-Barq’s lawyers who were involved in the negotiations over his release and potential transfer to Egypt in September 2012 that he freely consented to these negotiations, though the organization has not been able to confirm this with Samer al-Barq himself. At this point, it appears that there is no intention to transfer him to Egypt. His family were permitted to visit him on 11 October for the first time in a year. They told Amnesty International that he was extremely weak and depressed, that he is bleeding when he visits the bathroom and has severe stomach pains.

Hassan Safadi, aged 33, has been held in administrative detention without charge or trial since 29 June 2011, most recently renewed for six months in June 2012, then reduced to four months at judicial review in September 2012. He ended a previous hunger strike of 70 days in May 2012 but restarted it on 21 June when his administrative detention order was renewed. He ended this hunger strike when the Military Court of Appeals ruled that his current administrative detention order, which expires on 29 October, should not be renewed. The PHR doctor who last examined him on 10 September found that he had lost 24 per cent of his body weight and suffered from muscular atrophy, blurred vision, dizziness, extremely low blood pressure, kidney stones, pain in his joints, and impaired sensation and cyanosis in his hands and feet, which could indicate permanent nerve damage. As PHR has been refused permission to visit him since, they have no information about his current state of health, so it is unclear whether he has received the necessary medical supervision necessary during the delicate re-feeding process. He has also alleged that he was beaten and verbally abused by prison guards during his hunger strike.

Another Palestinian detainee, Ayman Sharawna, held since 31 January 2012 on unspecified allegations that he broke the conditions for his release as part of a prisoner exchange in October 2011, has been on hunger strike since 1 July 2012 protesting the refusal of an Israeli military committee to explain to him or his lawyer the basis for his current detention. The committee has the power to re-invoke his previous sentence but has not yet done so. A PHR doctor who examined him on 10 September recommended that he be hospitalized, reporting that he suffered from very low blood pressure, hypothermia, pain in his kidney area, back and right leg, loss of vision in his right eye, loss of sensation in his left leg, and was vomiting blood. Apart from a brief period in Tel Hashomer hospital after he refused water for four days during September, PHR has been unable to learn whether he has been hospitalized to receive the specialized medical care and tests he urgently needs. He is currently held at the Ramleh prison clinic, and has reportedly been placed in solitary confinement. On 14 October 2012 he reportedly stopped taking vitamins, and threatened to stop taking water if the Israeli military committee does not make a decision on his detention.

Administrative detention is detention without charge or trial for renewable terms based on evidence withheld from the detainees and their lawyers. A mass hunger strike of around 2,000 Palestinian prisoners and detainees protesting poor prison conditions, solitary confinement, denial of family visits and detention without charge ended on 14 May 2012 following an Egyptian-brokered deal with the Israeli authorities. Despite media reports suggesting that Israel had agreed that administrative detention orders would not be renewed unless significant new intelligence information was presented, the Israeli authorities have continued renewing such orders and issuing new ones. As of 31 August 2012, there were 212 administrative detainees, over 100 less than during March 2012. Some administrative detainees have been released if they have agreed to leave the Occupied Palestinian Territories and go into exile abroad. The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from forcibly transferring or deporting people from an occupied territory. Read more in report Starved of justice: Palestinians detained without trial by Israel at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/026/2012/en.

Name: Samer al-Barq, Hassan Safadi, Ayman Sharawna

Gender: m

Further information on UA: 119/12 Index: MDE 15/056/2012 Issue Date: 18 October 2012

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