Aug 18, 2012

Urgent: Hunger striker Hassan Safadis head violently slammed against cell door by prison guards

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Palestinian hunger strikers Hassan Safadi and Samer Al-Barq continue to be severely mistreated by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), in the forms of physical brutality and psychological torture. Addameer, Al-Haq and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) express their utmost outrage at recent violent incidents that have left these already-weakened detainees on protracted hunger strikes with trauma and injury. Mr. Al-Barq is today on his 87th day of hunger strike, which he began only one week after his previous 30-day hunger strike ended; Mr. Safadi is today on his 57th day of hunger strike, which he also began shortly after the end of his previous 71-day hunger strike. 

In a visit with Addameer lawyer Fares Ziad on 14 August, Mr. Safadi recounted the most recent violent incident, which had occurred the previous day. At approximately 9:00 am on 13 August, IPS guards entered the isolation room that Mr. Safadi shares with fellow administrative detainee Mr. Al-Barq in Ramleh prison medical clinic and announced their intentions to move the two hunger strikers to a room with other prisoners in the medical clinic who are not on hunger strike. Mr. Safadi and Mr. Al-Barq refused the transfer, as they considered it an attempt to further pressure them to break their hunger strikes by surrounding them with individuals who would be regularly eating in front of them.

After refusing to be moved, the Israeli prison guards attacked both Mr. Safadi and Mr. Al-Barq. During the attack, Mr. Safadi’s head was slammed against the iron door of the cell two times, causing him to fall to the ground, unconscious. Prison guards then dragged him through the hall to be seen by all the other prisoners. Later that night, at around 10:00 pm, Mr. Safadi and Mr. Al-Barq were taken to a new isolation room with no mattresses. 

As a result of this cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, Mr. Safadi subsequently announced that he would no longer be drinking water, which had so far been his only sustenance throughout his hunger strike. To protest the IPS’s brutality, the other prisoners in Ramleh also began to return their meals.

Mr. Safadi and Mr. Al-Barq both remain on hunger strike in protest against their administrative detention orders being renewed following the conclusion of Palestinian prisoners’ mass hunger strike in May. Mr. Safadi had been explicitly included in the agreement ending the hunger strike and had been guaranteed his release following the expiration of his order at the time - a promise that was not kept. A final decision regarding Mr. Safadi’s extension has been consistently postponed by an Israeli military judge and has not been reached to date.

Two other Palestinian detainees in Israeli prison are also currently on hunger strike: Ayman Sharawna and Samer Al-Issawi, on days 47 and 16, respectively. Both detainees were former prisoners who were released in last October’s prisoner exchange deal and subsequently re-arrested. They are being held based on secret information and view their hunger strikes as their only tool to protest against their re-arrest.

Addameer, Al-Haq and PHR-I insist that the international community intervene with the relevant Israeli authorities and demand an immediate investigation into these and other condemnable acts taken against prisoners on hunger strike in attempts to break them.

Addameer, Al-Haq and PHR-I specifically call on:

the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Union to take action in the strongest manner possible to save the lives of the hunger strikers and prevent any future mistreatment;

European Parliament members to bring these cases to the attention of relevant Israeli authorities without delay and to send a fact-finding mission to examine the conditions of detention of Palestinians arbitrarily held in Israeli prisons;

High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and all UN Member States to put immediate pressure on Israel to abide by international humanitarian and human rights law and end its policy of arbitrary detention, and to abide by the standard rules for the treatment of prisoners adopted in 1955, which set out what is generally accepted as being decent principle and practice in the treatment of prisoners. 


the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

European Parliament 
You can contact the Subcommittee on Human Rights by email at the following address :
or by fax :
+ 32 2 28 49070 (Brussels)
+ 33 3 88 17 9023 (Strasbourg)

List of parties to the Geneva Conventions
UN Member States

Write to Shabas, the Israeli Prison Service, the IPS: 
It's in Hebrew, but use a machine translation.


Further information on UA: 119/12 Index: MDE 15/047/2012 Israel Date: 10 August 2012

Más información sobre AU: 119/12 Índice: MDE 15/047/2012 Israel Fecha: 10 de agosto de 2012 Fecha: 10 de agosto de 2012
detenidos en huelga de hambre, MAltratados por guardias de prisión

Action complémentaire sur l’AU 119/12, MDE 15/047/2012 – Israël 10 août 2012


SAMER AL-BARQ: 119 DAYS on a renewed hunger strike. 89 + 30 days earlier, note there was a break that lasted only a WEEK in between the strikes.
HASSAN SAFADI: 130 DAYS on a renewed hunger strike. 59 + 71 days earlier, with a break that lasted a bit over a month in between the strikes. 


Doctor and lawyer visits to hunger strikers reveal mistreatment by Israeli Prison Service

Joint Press Release, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel
Ramallah-Jaffa, 7 August 2012 


Hassan Safadi:

(30 July 2012)
“Please mother, always pray for me”: Hassan Safadi still on hunger strike after Israel breaks deal
(April 25, 2012)
Empty Stomach Warriors (I): Hasan al-Safadi Time and Time Again


Samer Al-Barq:
(In Arabic)


Administrative detainees can be detained without charge or trial based on 'secret evidence' for up to six months, and the detention orders can be renewed indefinitely.

'Although international human rights law permits some limited use of administrative detention in emergency situations, the authorities are required to follow basic rules for detention, including a fair hearing at which the detainee can challenge the reasons for his or her detention.' 
more on administrative detention: 

'Indeed, the denial of a fair trial constitutes a 'grave breach’ of the Fourth Geneva Convention, one of the most serious forms of war crimes.'

'Furthermore, the European Parliament called on Israel in a September 2008 resolution to “guarantee that minimum standards on detention be respected, to bring to trial all detainees, [and] to put an end to the use of ‘administrative detention orders’.” The United Nations Human Rights Committee has stated several times that prolonged administrative detention is likely to result in the exposure of detainees to “torture, ill-treatment and other violations of human rights.”'

'For decades, Amnesty International has urged Israel to end the practice of administrative detention and to release detainees or charge them with an internationally recognizable criminal offence and try them according to international standards.'
- Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa

'It shouldn’t take the self-starvation of Palestinian prisoners for Israel to realize it is violating their due process rights. Israel should stop holding prisoners for extended periods without charge.'
- Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch
Amnesty's urgent action with addresses you can write to:



Palestinian hunger strikers detained in Israel must be treated humanely 

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FREE SAMER al BARQ and Hassan al Safadi

Free Samer al Barq
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