Female Palestinian hunger striker ‘to be released early’

Published Sunday, March 4, 2012 AL AKHBAR

An Israeli court decided on Sunday to shorten the administrative detention of a Palestinian who has been refusing food since she was arrested, her lawyer said.

Hana Shalabi has been on hunger strike since her violent detention on February 16, when she was originally ordered detained without trial for six months.

According to lawyer Jawad al-Imawi, head of the legal department in the Palestinian prisoner’s ministry, “an Israeli judge decided to shorten Shalabi’s administrative detention from six to four months.”

According to Imawi, Shalabi’s health was mediocre and the judge said that in case of a deterioration in her health the court would reassess the case.

Imawi said that despite the ruling, Shalabi was refusing to stop her hunger strike.

The decision will give fresh impetus to the campaign against the continued use of administrative detention – under which detainees can effectively be held indefinitely without trial – by Israeli courts.

Her campaign came shortly after Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan ended a 66-day hunger strike in protest at his imprisonment without charge, under a deal that will see him released in April.

Human rights groups have condemned the continued use of administrative detention, with Amnesty International calling the practice illegal.

The Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer has demanded Shalabi’s immediate release.

Shalabi was among more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners released in October in a trade for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held in Gaza for more than five years.

Shalabi, from the West Bank village of Burqin village, near Jenin, spent 30 months in detention without trial before her release last year.

The Israeli army said she was “a global jihad-affiliated operative” and re-arrested her on suspicion that she “posed a threat to the area,” however they have provided no evidence for this claim.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club says she was one of five inmates freed in the October swap who have since been re-arrested.

(Al-Akhbar, AFP)

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Hana’ Yayha Shalabi – Addameer Prisoner support
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