Adalah to AG and IPS: Stop shackling Palestinian prisoners on hunger-strike during prayer

Adalah: The IPS’s sweeping order for 24-hour a day shackling of the prisoners has no relation with the seriousness of any risk posed or not by each person.

On 19 June 2014, Adalah sent an urgent letter to the Attorney General and the Israel Prison Service (IPS) to issue immediate instructions to stop IPS administrators from shackling Palestinian prisoners on hunger-strike to their hospital beds during the Muslim prayer. Around 80 hunger-strikers have been hospitalized due to the deterioration of their health. Due to the shackling, they have been forced to pray kneeling on their bed with their feet restrained. This situation leads to aches and pains in their joints. Further, kneeling on the bed can be a great danger for them in the context of their deteriorating health.

Adalah Attorney Aram Mahameed argued in the letter that the IPS’s arguments for 24-hour a day shackling of the prisoners on the basis that they constitute a security risk, totally ignores their deteriorating health status. It is a sweeping order imposed on all hunger-striking prisoners and detainees and has no relation with the seriousness of any risk posed or not by each person.  Many hunger-strikers are handcuffed as well, during medical treatment, which is a painful and difficult process.

Last week, Attorney Mahameed visited a number of prisoners on hunger-strike who were transferred to hospitals in Israel. He documented their testimonies about the harsh IPS practices used against the prisoners, including the IPS’s claimed right to break the hunger-strike.  One hunger-striker/patient reported that the IPS prevented him from entering the toilets on a regular basis, and thus, he is drastically limiting his intake of drinking water so that he does not have to use the bathroom frequently. The significant reduction of drinking water for hunger-strikers and in the hot weather can have very serious consequences on their lives and health.

This letter is part of a series of legal actions undertaken by Adalah to challenge and end the IPS’s brutal ill-treatment against Palestinian prisoners on hunger-strike. These punitive measures are being taken to break the strike and to punish their demand for an end to administrative detention.  Over the past two months, Adalah has sent letters to the IPS and the Attorney General against the IPS’s blocking and obstruction of lawyers’ visits to the prisoners, prevention of family visits, denial of time in the prison yard, the shackling of prisoners in hospitals, and other pressing issues for the hunger-strikers in their stressful circumstances.

Read more:

Adalah PR, “Adalah and Addameer petition Nazareth District Court against policy of shackling hunger-striking prisoners to hospital beds”, 24 June 2014

Adalah PR, “Ministry of Health dismisses responsibility for hunger-striking prisoners shackled to their hospital beds day and night,” 17 June 2014

Adalah’s actions during the Palestinian hunger-strike