A United Nations human rights expert has urged Israel to free Hana Shalabi, a Palestinian female prisoner, who has been on hunger strike since being rearrested about a month ago.
"The situation of Ms. Shalabi is morbid and life-threatening…This is an appeal to the conscience and to humanity and a desperate call to all of us," said Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, on Wednesday.
“Israel ought to end its inhumane treatment of Ms. Shalabi. Release her immediately,” he added, urging Tel Aviv to live up to its responsibilities under the international law.
He said that she had staged hunger strike to protest “Israel’s abusive use of detention without charges and the degrading and physically harsh treatment administered during her arrest, interrogation, and detention process.”
He also denounced the international silence over Shalabi’s fate and urged the global community to “raise its voice for those risking their own lives to end injustice.”
Shalabi is one of the Palestinian detainees rearrested by Israeli forces over the past few weeks after the October 2011 implementation of a prisoner-exchange deal between the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas and Israeli officials for the freedom of more than 1,000 Palestinian inmates in exchange for the release of Hamas-held Israeli trooper, Gilad Shalit.
According to Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and prisoner advocacy groups, there are currently over 6000 Palestinian prisoners, including legislators, in Israeli jails, many of whom have been rounded up without charge or trial.