UN official says he is concerned about situation of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner in Israel

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RAMALLAH, Thursday, October 15, 2020 (WAFA) – The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov today expressed concern about the situation of Palestinian hunger striker in Israeli jail, Maher al-Akhras, after completing 81 days of fast.

Mladenov’s office told WAFA that the Special Coordinator has called on Israel to either charge al-Akhras, specify a time for his imprisonment, or immediately set him and all administrative detainees free.

He said his office regularly calls on Israel to release administrative detainees.

Al-Akhras, 49, from the Jenin area in the north of the West Bank, started an open-ended hunger strike to protest his administrative detention when he was detained in July. After 81 days of hunger strike, there is a deep concern for his health.

Israel’s widely condemned practice of administrative detention allows the incarceration of Palestinian activists without charge or trial for renewable intervals ranging between three and six months based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.

The US State Department has said in past reports on human rights conditions for Palestinians that administrative detainees are not given the “opportunity to refute allegations or address the evidentiary material presented against them in court.”

Amnesty International has described Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and has long called on Israel to bring its use to an end.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest their illegal administrative detention and to demand an end to this policy, which violates international law.

There are currently over 350 Palestinians held in administrative detention in Israel for their political activities against the occupation.

Source: This news first appeared on WAFA, along with the cover photo, captioned as: Hunger striking Palestinian detainee in Israel Maher al-Akhras. (File photo)

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