Palestinian prisoners

IssueAugust 2015 - September 2015
News by David Polden

Khader Adnan, a 37-year-old baker and father of six, was released from an Israeli prison on 12 July, after a 55-day hunger strike that left him near death.

Khader launched his hunger strike on 7 May to protest at the renewal of his ‘administrative detention’ (indefinite detention without charge) after six years in and out of administrative detention.

Khader was re-arrested on 13 July. The Israeli political police, the Shin Beit, said he had been arrested for trying to enter Jerusalem. He was then re-released the following day.

On 13 July, Israel released 55-year old member of the Palestinian parliament, Riyad Mahmoud Radad. He was one of hundreds of Palestinians detained after the abduction of three Israeli teens last year. Riyad was charged with organising processions in support of Palestinian prisoners and he’d spent nearly a year in prison. Several other detained Palestinian parliamentarians were also released recently, but MP Khalida Jarrar remains imprisoned despite calls by the international community for her release.

Lawyer Shireen al-’Eesawy has been in administrative detention since June 2014, charged with having smuggled letters to Gazan prisoners (from their families). Recently, she was in solitary confinement for two months following a confrontation with prison guards. She reports that her cell had been sealed with plastic, preventing entry of fresh air and causing her to lose consciousness; that she has no sheets or covers and has to sleep on the ground; and that when allowed for short periods into the prison yard, she has been handcuffed and her legs chained.

As of April, there were 6,000 Palestinian political detainees in Israeli prisons, according to prisoners’ support group Addameer, including almost 500 administrative detainees held without charge.