Human Rights Organizations Demand Immediate Release of Maher al-Akhras (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)

Palestinian activists show solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Maher al-Akhras in Gaza’s Ministry of Prisoners on Tuesday, October 20. (Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

Maher al-Akhras, in his 86th day of hunger strike, is at great risk of death, today said four Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations, demanding his immediate release.

A Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) volunteer doctor visited al-Akhras on Friday, and noted that although he is generally lucid, he is also periodically confused, very dizzy, cannot move his legs, stand, or change position in bed. His vision and hearing are rapidly deteriorating and he complains of severe chest pains. According to an international medical consensus on hunger strikes, al-Akhras may die any day, said the four organizations.

Al-Akhras has been on a hunger strike since July 27, 2020, following his administrative detention. He has appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court demanding to be released, but the court decided not to cancel his administrative detention – leaving that decision to the security apparatus.

Instead, the court only suspended his administrative detention, despite his deteriorating situation, which may result in his death. Al-Akhras is simultaneously prevented from leaving Kaplan hospital in Israel, where he is currently held and is therefore under de-facto arrest. These court decisions were, interalia, made on incorrect translations of a video of al-Akhras.

Al-Akhras has expressed distrust towards the Kaplan medical team, as occurs often in hunger strikes. He refuses any treatment or medical tests and monitoring from the medical team. He has confirmed that should he lose consciousness, he does not want to receive any medical intervention. It is worth mentioning that current legislation in Israel allows medical staff to feed a person on hunger strike by force, a position which is both unacceptable according to medical ethics and, according to international law, may amount to torture.

Israel currently holds over 300 Palestinians in administrative detention, contrary to the Geneva Convention, which demands that this practice be used only in exceptional circumstances and subject to strict procedural safeguards.

“Administrative detention is Israel’s go-to legal proceeding when it simply wants to mute the voices of Palestinian political activists, but lacks any concrete evidence that can be presented in an open, military court,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud.

“Not that Israel’s military courts are an example of fairness and transparency. Indeed, when it comes to Palestinians, the entire Israeli judicial system is skewed. But administrative detention is a whole new level of injustice,” Baroud added.

(All Photos: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

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