Support Palestinian hunger striker Hana al-Shalabi as her health declines

Issue 

The parents of hunger-striking political prisoner Hana al-Shalabi issued a call on March 14 to all Palestinians to protest in support of their daughter, who was on her 28th continuous day without food in protest at her detention without charge or trial by Israel.

The statement said: “We call upon the Palestinian National Authority, the Palestinian national factions, and all Palestinians to take to the streets on Saturday, March 17 and to demonstrate in support of our daughter Hana Shalabi and all administrative detainees.

"Pressure on the Palestinian street is imperative in achieving Hana’s immediate release, as well as support for her open hunger strike [that began on February 16].

"We as Hana’s family continue to support her hunger strike, and we want to let our daughter know that we are with her in every step of her hunger strike until she achieves her immediate release from the Israeli occupation jails.

"Finally, we call upon all administrative detainees to join Hana’s hunger strike until they achieve their own release and to put an end to the unjust Israeli policy of administrative detention, which violates human rights and international law.”

Sharply deteriorating health

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHRI) visited Hana on March 13 and reported her health had deteriorated significantly.

PHRI said: “The second doctor’s second examination on 12 March indicated an additional deterioration in Ms. Shalabi’s condition, shown mainly in advanced muscle atrophy and wasting, additional weight loss, a significant reduction in blood sugar, severe dizziness and severe muscle pain, especially in her chest and back.”

Hana was violently re-arrested by Israel on February 16 after her release in the first half of the Hamas-Israel prisoner deal in October.

She had spent 25 months in administrative detention, without ever being informed of the reason of her detainment and with no charges brought against her.

Her hunger strike is one for freedom and dignity, which began immediately as a result of being horribly mistreated during her last arrest, which included a forced strip search by a male soldier, beatings, and later solitary confinement. She is held in HaSharon prison.

Amnesty reiterates urgent concern

Amnesty International reiterated its concern for Hana al-Shalabi’s condition after the examination by PHRI doctors. This month, Amnesty issued an urgent action alert calling on people to contact authorities to demand Israel release Hana al-Shalabi and other so-called “administrative detainees” held without charge or trial by proper international standards.

[Reprinted from Electronic Intifada.]

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