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Adameer

Update on Palestinian hunger strike and call for action by prisoners

Ramallah 11 October: The campaign of civil disobedience launched by Palestinian prisoners on 27 September is now entering its third week. Hundreds of prisoners have joined the campaign by going on either open-ended or 3 day hunger strike. On 10 and 11 October, the entire prisoner population in the prisons of Gilboa (336) Nafha (511), Rimon (716), Eshel (262) and Ashkelon (142) have reportedly declared an open ended hunger strike, with more expected to do the same in the coming days. Four women are also on hunger strike at Damon prison and, like other hunger-strikers, have been denied salt and had electronic items confiscated from their cells.

Our lawyers are regularly trying to visit the hunger strikers, despite the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) continuing to place obstacles in the way of these visits by declaring a ‘situation of emergency’ in the prisons. Today our lawyers were prevented from meeting hunger-striking prisoners in Jalameh detention center and Megiddo prison. At Megiddo the prison authorities told our lawyer that they could not allow visits to two prisoners as they had refused to stand up for the roll call and are too weak to see him. When asked for an official statement on this policy, the prison authorities refused.

Families of prisoners from Gilboa have reported to Addameer that the hunger strikers call on international human rights activists, groups and organizations to support their struggle by writing to the Israeli Prison Service to protest against the increasingly punitive measures being taken against them. Addameer supports this call, and requests you to take action by sending the attached letters in Hebrew and English demanding that the IPS immediately desist from the use of isolation and excessive fines against the hunger strikers, and from denying the hunger strikers salt - a vital nutrient to maintain their health. The letters include the relevant addressees from the Israeli Prison Service and other Israeli authorities.

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