Prominent French-Palestinian Lawyer Launches Hunger Strike in Israeli Prison

French Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri. (Photo: Alain Bachellier, via Wikimedia Commons)

French-Palestinian human rights lawyer Salah Hamouri, who has been held by the Israeli authorities without charges for more than half a year, joined a mass hunger strike earlier this week.

The name of Hamouri appeared on a list of 30 prisoners who recently announced their protest against the Israeli practice of administrative detention.

The Palestinian protesters, held in prisons across Israel, announced they would go on an open-ended hunger strike from September 25, in a statement published by the prison branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Hamouri, who was born to a Palestinian father and a French mother, used to work at the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. He was arrested on March 7 and has since been held in prison on undisclosed grounds.

Claiming that Hamouri “has been harassed by the Israeli authorities for more than twenty years,” Amnesty International has called on the French authorities “to ensure that the rights of this French citizen, lawyer and human rights defender are no longer violated.”

Administrative detention is a long-standing provision that has allowed Israel to hold suspects on the basis of “secret evidence” for indefinitely renewable six-month terms, without charging them.

According to the Addameer, 743 Palestinians are being held by Israel in administrative detention – the highest number in six years. Some of them have been imprisoned for years.


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