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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.