Military Court Postpones Decision on Hunger Striker’s Detention

An Israeli military court on Thursday postponed a ruling on the administrative detention of long term hunger striker Hassan Safadi, a lawyer for the prisoners society said.

Ahmad Safyeh said that Safadi entered Ofer military court in a wheelchair and looked tired and thin, suggesting he is in a serious health condition.

The court session lasted for three hours, in which the prosecution was asked about Safadi’s detention without charge, Safyeh said.

Safadi told the lawyer that Ramleh prison clinic administration had confiscated all his personal belongings, including his clothes and holy Quran, but he stressed that he would continue his hunger strike until he is released.

The 33-year-old prisoner has spent 57 days on hunger strike, which he resumed in June after his administrative detention was renewed in contravention of understandings with the prison administration, according to prisoners group Addameer.

Safadi previously spent 71 days without food during mass hunger strikes in Israeli jails earlier this year.

Addameer said on Thursday that Safadi and fellow hunger striker Samer al-Barq were assaulted by prison guards when they refused to be transferred out of their shared cell to the general ward of the prison clinic.

Safadi’s head was twice slammed against the iron door of the cell, causing him to fall unconscious, during the assault on Monday, Addameer said. Prison guards then dragged him through the hall, and he and al-Barq were later moved to a new cell without mattresses.

As a result, Safadi said he will now also refuse to drink water, the group added.

Al-Barq has been on hunger strike for on his 87 days, which he began only one week after his previous 30-day hunger strike ended. Two other prisoners continue to refuse food, Ayman Sharawna on strike for 47 days and Samer Al-Issawi, for 16 days.

In Ramallah on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority cabinet said Israel was responsible for the lives of al-Safadi and al-Barq in light of their deteriorating health conditions. In a statement, the cabinet demanded that Israel end its use of administrative detention and free the two prisoners.

The cabinet also demanded that Israel free detainees who were re-arrested in the months following a prisoner swap with Hamas for a captured soldier held in Gaza.

(Ma’an)

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