Student hunger strikers demand PA release prisoners

Maan News Agency | July 15, 2012

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Thirteen Palestinian students who have held a sit-in in Hebron University for over three weeks warned Sunday they would scale up their protest if the Palestinian Authority does not release three fellow students.

Eight of the protesters have been on hunger strike for 13 days.

The group say the Palestinian Authority has detained fellow students based on their political affiliation. They are also asking the PA preventative security force to sign a written obligation not to pursue them over their political activities on campus.

“We will give all the concerned authorities until 6 p.m. to intervene and require the PA’s preventive security to release the three students who have been detained,” spokesman of the protesters Rami Rajoub told Ma’an.

The students, who are affiliated to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, began a sit-in on Hebron University campus 26 days ago.

The university doctor checks up on the hunger strikers regularly, Rajoub said.

Two of them have been asked to visit a hospital to prevent health complications, but refuse out of worry what will happen if they leave the campus, he added.

In late June, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said five detainees from Hebron and another from Ramallah were on hunger strike to protest their continued detention in West Bank jails, despite court rulings requiring the PA to release them.

PCHR said they all had been detained on political grounds and accused of “harming national unity.”

“Palestinian courts, including the Palestinian High Court of Justice, have issued rulings for the release of these particular detainees, as well as others that were previously arrested on the same grounds. However, the PA has not implemented the courts’ rulings,” the rights group said.

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