Firas al-Rousan begins hunger-strike
AOHR UK can report that al-Rousan, fifty four years-old, began an indefinite hunger strike yesterday (Wednesday 17th). al-Rousan will not accept either food or medicines until his demands are met.
Firas al-Rousan is currently held in Qafqafa prison, north of the Jordanian capital, Amman, serving a one-year sentence. He was arrested in May 2019, released, and after charged and re-imprisoned in early September 2020.
Firas al-Rousan’s hunger strike is a response, first, to the Minister of Justice’s continued ignoring of a legitimate claim submitted by his lawyers over 10 weeks ago.
Second, al-Rousan’s strike is in protest against his continued mistreatment by the Jordanian prison authorities, which have subjected him to numerous and unexplained transfers between prisoners, denied him both medical treatment and proper visitations. al-Rousan suffers from diabetes and hypertension.
AOHR UK also confirmed that al-Rousan has been subjected to insults and abuse by officers and prison personnel who prevent him from going to the library or buying products. His family faces restrictions during the few times they visited him as they forced them to leave after seeing him for a few minutes.
Hashim al-Rousan, Firas’ son, said that the prison authorities, as a punishment to start the strike, transferred his father to solitary confinement for several hours, while constantly pressuring him to end the strike..
Hashim told AOHR UK that his father was prevented from submitting evidence during his court defence, and has suffered numerous hardships due to various prison authorities mistreatment of him. al-Rousan has been allowed only infrequent, very short family visits, his son added.
AOHR UK, therefore, joins with al-Rousan’s family in decrying the litany of mistreatments that Firas has suffered at the hands of various prisons’ authorities, and the wider circumstances of his arrest and trial.
AOHR UK called on the allies of Jordan, human rights defenders and human rights organisations to intervene with the Jordanian authorities to release al-Rousan and all prisoners of conscience in Jordan. AOHR UK held the authorities responsible for his life and safety.