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Palestinian Prisoner Enters 43rd Day of Hunger Strike

Saturday, 01 November 2014 13:02 - [20-26 October] - Ref.: 120/2014
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Raed_Mosa_Hunger_strikeAs of 21 September 2014, Ra’ed Faisal Mousa, 33, has been on hunger strike, protesting his prolonged administrative detention in Israeli prisons. Ra’ed has been placed under administrative detention since 29 November 2013, and his administrative detention had been extended four times. The Palestinian Prisoner Society confirmed that on 27 October 2014 Ra’ed was transferred to the Barzilai Hospital in Israel due to his deteriorating health conditions. Since 2000, Ra’ed has been detained several times by the Israeli authorities and spent approximately a total of eight years in Israeli prisons.

According to Omar ‘Awad Malalha, 32, following up on Ra’ed’s case from the Palestinian Prisoner Society in Jenin, Ra’ed was arrested from his residence on 29 November 2013 by Israeli forces. A few days following his detention, he was set to be held without trial for six months. Following this order, Ra’ed entered his first hunger strike for 45 days, in protest of Israel's measure against him of administrative detention. Following his first hunger strike, Ra’ed was given an oath by the Israeli authorities that he would be released within four months instead of six.

The Israeli authorities did not abide by these terms and informed Ra'ed that he would be held in administrative detention for six more months. Following these six months, Ra’ed was not released and his detention was extended for six additional months yet again. On 21 September 2014, Ra’ed commenced his second hunger strike, which continues until today.

Ra’ed has been detained in the Negev prison in Israel. As a result of the hunger strike, he now suffers from low blood pressure and diabetes. Ra’ed’s life is at risk due to his deteriorating health condition. Currently, he is the only Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10094/2014)

There are currently 500 Palestinians being held in administrative detention by Israel. Israel's policy of administrative detention violates Articles 4, 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), amounting to a practice of arbitrary detention and a continued denial of Palestinian prisoners' right to fair trial. While Israel has claimed to be in a state of emergency, during which States may derogate from Article 9 and Article 14 of the ICCPR, administrative detention is only allowed in strictly limited circumstances.

In its recent concluding observations, the UN Human Rights Committee, the treaty body which considers the implementation of the ICCPR by States, expressed concern at Israel's long acclaimed state of emergency and asked that it expedites the review of this position. The UN Human Rights Committee further urged the State of Israel to "[e]nd the practice of administrative detention and […] ensure that individuals subject to administrative detention orders are either promptly charged with a criminal offence, or released."