Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

HRW to Israel: charge or free Palestinian hunger striker

11 February 2012

Khader Adnan's image held by Palestinian scouts

Khader Adnan's image held by Palestinian scouts

By AFP – 11 Feb 2012

HRW - Human Rights WatchJERUSALEM — An international NGO on Saturday called on Israel to “immediately charge or release” a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for the past 56 days.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement Israel should “immediately end its unlawful administrative detention” of Khader Adnan, who has refused food since December 18, and “charge or release him.”

Adnan, who was arrested near the northern West Bank city of Jenin on December 17, had served as a spokesman for Islamic Jihad, but Israel has not charged him formally or revealed any evidence against him.

His hunger strike, longer than any Palestinian prisoner before him, according to Palestinian officials, is in protest over what he calls his unjust detention and mistreatment by Israeli authorities.

Last month, a military court ordered that Adnan be held in administrative detention for four months, although with his condition frail and worsening, he has been held mostly in a string of Israeli hospitals since early January.

Under Israeli military law, a court can order an individual held for up to six months at a time without charge, although the order can be appealed.

On Thursday, he appealed his detention without charge before an Israeli military judge sitting in a special session in hospital, but the court is not expected to rule before Sunday, his lawyer told AFP.

“Israel should end, today, before it’s too late, its almost two-month-long refusal to inform Adnan of any criminal charge or evidence against him,” Whitson said.

On Friday, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, called on Israel “to do everything in its power to preserve the health of the prisoner and resolve this case while abiding by all legal obligations under international law.”

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