#PalHunger | PCHR Calls upon the International Community to Save Lives of Bilal Diab and Tha’er Halahla Who Initiated Hunger Strike

PCHR | Thursday, 26 April 2012 08:30

Ref: 49/2012

 The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is concerned over the lives of two administrative detainees, Bilal Diab and Tha’er Halahla, who have been on hunger strike for two months.  PCHR holds the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for their lives and calls upon the international community to exert pressure on them to immediately release Diab and Halahla, as they have been placed under administrative detention without charges or a trial.  It should be noted that thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention facilities declared a hunger strike last week.

Bilal Sa’eed Diab, 27, from Kafr Ra’ei village near Jenin, and Tha’er ‘Aziz Halahla, 34, from Kharas village near Hebron, who had been detained in Negev prison in Israel, declared their open hunger strike on 29 February 2012.  Diab and Halahla have been placed under administrative detention since 17 August 2011 and 29 June 2010 respectively.

Since Diab and Halahla declared their hunger strike, IOF have rejected their requests to be released. Due to the deterioration of their health conditions, the prison’s administration transported Halahla to the hospital of al-Ramla Prison on 22 March, and transferred Diab to the same hospital two days later.  Diab and Halahla have been receiving medical treatment at the hospital under security supervision, and intend to continue their hunger strike until they achieve their goals.

On 23 April 2012, the Israeli Military Court rejected an appeal filed by the lawyer of the two administrative detainees.  In a statement to the media, their lawyer, Jameel al-Khateeb, stressed that the Israeli military judge had said: “The hunger strike was their choice, so they are responsible for their health conditions.”  Al-Khateeb added: “The judge had a closed meeting with the Israeli Internal Security Service (Shabak) and the prosecution.  He examined the confidential files and decided that their hunger strike does not affect the danger which they pose.”

Lawyer Jawad Boulos, head of the legal department of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, pointed out that the health conditions of Diab and Halahla are similar to the condition of Khader Adnan, when he entered his 60th day of hunger strike, which makes both detainees vulnerable to sudden death.

Diab and Halahla’s case highlights the conditions of more than 300 Palestinians who are currently placed under administrative detention in Israeli prisons and detention facilities, including the Speaker and 20 Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.  These detentions violate of the

right of a detainee to a fair trial, including the right to receive appropriate defense and to be informed of charges against him.  Administrative detention is applied by an administrative order only, without referral to a court.  It is applied under strictly confidential procedures that deprive a detainee and his/her attorney of knowing the charges or evidence against him/her, thus violating his/her right to adequate defense, in violation of the standards of a fair trial.

Thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention facilities have begun a hunger strike last week in order for their demands to be accomplished.  These demands include: improving their living conditions in the Israeli prisons; ensuring family visitations, particularly for the prisoners from the Gaza Strip; putting an end to the solitary confinement policy, repression and night searches; and ensuring the opportunity to continue their education.

PCHR is concerned over the deterioration of Diab’s and Halahla’s health conditions in Israeli detention, and:

1. Calls upon the international community to exert pressure on IOF to immediately release Diab and Halahla;

2. Is concerned over the deterioration of living conditions of approximately 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails;

3. Calls upon international human rights and solidarity organizations to exert more efforts to put an end to the Israeli policy of administrative detention which violates the fundamental right to fair trial.



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