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Hana al-Shalabi: Palestinian female detainee on 14th day of Hunger Strike

February 17, 2014 at 11:15 pm


This month, the news has been dominated by the ever worsening situation in Syria. Within the Palestinian arena, the case of Khader Adnan; the West bank activists who risked his life and health to draw global attention to the plight of Palestinians subject to arbitrary Israeli administrative detention, took the headlines. Adnan’s 66 consecutive days without food has inspired administrative detainee, Hana al-Shalabi, who has been in prison without charge for two years, to also take up peaceful resistance through hunger-strike. Protest activities in support of al-Shalabi continue.

Hana al-Shalabi, 29 years old female from Burqin village near Jenin has been on hunger strike for approximately two weeks to protest against her administrative detention by Israel for the second time. Hana was originally arrested and detained on the 14th of September 2009 following an invasion by Israeli soldiers into her family home at 1.30am. During the house search the Israeli soldiers took a photo of her brother, Samer who was killed by the Israeli army in 2005, assaulted her 63 year old father who intervened to defend his daughter Hana whom the Israeli soldiers directed verbal abuse at. Hana was released on the 18th of October 2011 as part of the Shalit’s swap deal, in which she was among 1,027 Palestinian prisoners who were released. On 16 February 2012 she was rearrested and ordered to be detained under administrative detention without trial for another six months.

Addameer, Palestinian Prisoners Rights advocates, have been monitoring the detention and treatment of Hana al-Shalabi at the HaSharon prison where she currently is being held. Addameer reports that Hana has been subjected to sexual harassment, solitary confinement and abuse in a small cell with poor hygiene and limited access to clean clothes and natural sunlight. Hana al-Shalabi is being denied adequate legal representation following the decline of her appeal against her administrative detention order and harsh treatment. Hana is being held without charge or trial, all suspicions directed towards her are held back as ‘secret information’ or remain vague, leaving her without legitimate means to defend herself.

Hana al-Shalabi: Palestinian female detainee on 14th day of Hunger Strike

Recently, we have seen Khader Adnan’s freedom campaign seeking to highlight the Israeli policy of ‘administrative detention’, a violation of international human rights. Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) says that no person should be “subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention”.

Khadr Adnan also carried out 66 days of hunger strike following his arrest on the 17th of December in which he was also subjected to harassment and harsh treatment in Israeli prison cells. According to a recent report by Addameer Ramallah, Khader Adnan went through surgery at Ziv Hospital, due to problems in his digestive system. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel’s volunteer doctor reached the hospital immediately to speak to Khader and his doctors before the operation. The operation went well and Khader’s condition is currently stable. Khader is now in the surgical wing of the hospital.

Today, Khader Adnan who’s brave effort to highlight the concerns and undignified treatment of Palestinian prisoners has seen wide media coverage and tireless campaigning for the rights and protection of Palestinian prisoners. Hana al-Shalabi is amongst hundreds of other Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detentions by Israel for unknown reasons; let us not stand back and endure the suffering of Palestinian prisoners protesting for freedom, peace and justice. Their plight has raised the voices of their suffering and sparked international campaigns for the freedom to live, be heard and to demand basic human rights for fair, representative and dignified treatment.

It is prime time to end Israel’s administrative detention policy. We urge British citizens to take action to free Hana al-Shalabi and other Palestinian prisoners. We urge the British government to interfere with Israel and put an end to this illegal policy especially that this is an inherited law by Israel that was enforced during the British mandate in Palestine. We urge the British government to interfere and put an end to Israel’s arbitrary methods of imprisonment namely Administrative Detention.

Source: Palestinian Mission

MEMO Photographer: Ibtehal Mansour