Prisoners Continue Hunger Strikes Despite Deteriorating Health

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Six Palestinian prisoners remain on a hunger strike.  The strike has continued for so long that the lives of some of the hunger strikers are now at serious risk, said a report by the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association “Addameer” on Thursday, 31 January.

Samer Issawi is one of the prisoners on a hunger strike.  He has been on this strike since August 1 and, according to Addameer’s lawyer, who visited Ramleh prison clinic, Issawi is continuing despite severe deterioration in his health.

The lawyer said that Issawi is gradually losing the ability to move without help; he stopped drinking water nine days ago, which led to a rise in his body’s temperature, to about 41 degrees. He was transferred to a hospital but refused to receive treatment and used only a damp cloth to cool his temperature.

The doctor from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned that Issawi’s health is at risk and he might suffer sudden cardiac arrest or kidney failure.

In its report, Addameer stated that its lawyer was not able to meet Ayman Sharawna, another striking prisoner, as he was transferred to an unknown destination.

Sharawna resumed his hunger strike 10 days ago, according to Addameer.

The report said that Tareq Qadan and Jafar Azzidine, who are both administrative detainees, have been hunger striking since October 28 to protest their detention without charge or trial.

Qadan and Azzidine are suffering from severe pain in the kidneys, back, joints and muscles as well as pain in their eyes, severe headaches and constant nausea, said Addameer.

Meanwhile, Akram Rikhawi continued his hunger strike amid attempts by the Israeli prison’s administration to break his spirits by misleading him about the day of his release.

The report said that Rikhawi suffered low blood sugar, which led him to start taking IV fluids. His brother, Shadi, now continues his hunger strike in solidarity.

Addameer called on the Egyptian broker of the prisoners’ swap deal to immediately intervene to save the lives of striking prisoners, as well as to pressure Israel to release the prisoners who were rearrested and release sick prisoners and detainees in the Ramleh clinic.

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