Palestinian prisoner resumes hunger strike

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Monday, October 15, 2012

Samer Barq, a Palestinian jailed without charge in Israel, announced he was resuming his hunger strike after Israel stalled on a deal to release him to Egypt, his lawyer told Ma'an news agency on Monday.

Fadi Ubeidat, a lawyer for the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs, said Barq announced his return to hunger strike on Sunday after Israel "delayed his release."

Barq ended a 125-day strike on September 23 after learning Egypt and Israel had agreed he would be transferred from jail into exile in Egypt.

He blames Israel for holding up the deal, and now says he will not accept any agreement to deport him to a third country.

Barq will not end his hunger strike until he is returned to his home in Jayyous, in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya, Ubeidat said.

This will be Barq's third hunger strike this year.

In May, he ended a month-long hunger strike after Israel agreed to address the issue of administrative detention. He resumed his hunger strike one week later when Israel renewed his detention without charge.

Administrative detention orders are issued without trial or conviction by a military court, and can be renewed indefinitely for periods of six months.

Barq has been detained without charge or trial since July 2010.

He was transferred to an intensive care unit in September during his previous hunger strike where he was visited by International Committee of the Red Cross which warned he and two other prisoners were close to death.

More than 2,000 Palestinian prisoners in May ended a mass hunger strike for better conditions in a deal with prison authorities.

A coalition of rights groups that include Addameer, Al-Haq and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, have been closely monitoring the issue.

While refusing food, the groups say that prisoners had been subjected to severe physical and psychological abuse by Israeli prison guards, and were being held in solitary confinement.

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

Two other Palestinians remain on long-term hunger strike, Ayman Sharawna who has refused food since July 1, and Samer Issawi, since August 1.

(Ma'an, Al-Akhbar)

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