Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) is calling for human-rights groups across the world to launch a concerted campaign of solidarity with seven Palestinian detainees, whose co-ordinated hunger-strike against the fundamentally unjust conditions of their detention has reached a critical juncture. Citizens the world over must speak with one voice against their detention and in support of their struggle against the Israeli carceral system.
At the time of writing, the eldest of the hunger-striking prisoners, Kayed al-Fasfous is on his 86th day of a water and salt-only diet; Miqdad Al-Qawasmi, his 80th day; Alaa al-Araj, his 62st; Hisham Abu Hawash, his 54st; Rayek Bisharat, his 49th; and Shadi Abu Eker, currently on his 46th day of continuous hunger strike.
Both Kayed al-Fasfous and Miqdad al-Qawasma are currently being detained in hospitals, due to the seriousness of their health condition.
All six are protesting against “administrative detention”: the practice of detention without charge or trial, as based on files to which neither the detainee nor their lawyers have access. According to military protocol, an administrative detention order can be issued for a maximum of six months – though an order can be renewed an unlimited number of times.
Since the beginning of 2021, occupation authorities have issued 869 administrative detention orders, including four against minors. The number increased massively from May onwards, with 200 such orders issued in that month alone.
In addition to those six, Mohammed Al-Ardah – one of the six prisoners who succeeded in liberating themselves from Gilboa Prison – has begun his own hunger-strike, as a protest against the conditions of his detention, apparently as punishment for his escape.
Israel currently holds approximately 4,850 Palestinian prisoners, including 225 children and 41 women, plus 550 administrative detainees, according to Palestinian groups specialising in prisoner affairs.
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) has repeatedly condemned the impunity that the Israeli occupation leaders enjoy: crimes without accountability, with the international community ignoring the daily abuse of Palestinian citizens, and of prisoners in particular.
AOHR UK calls on everyone to raise their voices to save the lives of the striking prisoners and push for their release, noting that the ongoing international disregard towards the daily crimes committed against prisoners encourages the occupation to tighten its grip on them and endanger their lives.