Palestinian hunger striker in intensive care

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Monday, September 17, 2012

One of three long-term Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli detention has been moved to a hospital intensive care unit suffering from a drop in blood sugar, a spokeswoman for the Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners Club said on Monday.

Amani Sarahna said that Samer Al-Barq, one of three prisoners on hunger strike for weeks to demand their release from detention without trial, was placed in intensive care at Assaf Harofeh medical center, in central Israel, early on Monday evening.

"It looks as if he is refusing to take liquids or vitamins," she told AFP, citing doctors who she said called his lawyers.

Israel Prisons Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told AFP that Barq was moved from prison to the civilian hospital on Sunday but that she was not permitted to give details of a prisoner's medical condition.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned on Friday that Barq and fellow hunger strikers Hassan Safadi and Ayman Sharawneh were close to death.

"These people are going to die unless the detaining authorities find a prompt solution," the head of the ICRC delegation in Israel and the occupied territories, Juan Pedro Schaerer, warned in a statement.

Amnesty International said last month that Safadi and Barq had refused food since May 22 and June 21 respectively to protest the policy Israel calls "administrative detentions," whereby prisoners are held without trial and which a military court can renew for periods of six months.

More than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners, including Safadi, in May ended a mass hunger strike for better conditions in a deal with prison authorities.

One of the terms of the accord was that those held without trial in administrative detention would go free at the end of their current terms, unless fresh evidence emerged against them.

Safadi went back on hunger strike after his detention order was renewed.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have slammed the policy as a violation of international humanitarian law.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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