Hunger striker loses sight, says prisoners group

Palestinian hunger striker in Israeli jails, Mahmoud Balboul, who was rushed to hospital on Sunday after a severe deterioration in his health, is currently suffering from a temporarily loss of vision as his condition continues to relapse, said the Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission on Monday.

The commission’s lawyer, Tareq Barghout, noted that the ethics committee at Wolfson Medical Center, in Holon, Israel, is mulling force-feeding Balboul, which he stressed violates the detainee’s right to protest the “inhumane and unethical” administrative detention.

The lawyer maintained that force feeding Balboul would only put his life in grave danger, stressing the illegality of such move under all international laws and conventions.

The commission urged the Israeli government to instruct the hospital’s ethics committee to stop “such crime” and to immediately release Balboul and end his detention without charge or trial.

Barghout noted that the commission has prepared a petition demanding the release of hunger strikers Balboul and his brother Mohammed, to be submitted before the Israeli High Court on Tuesday.

The Balboul brothers have been on an open-ended hunger strike for over two months now to protest their administrative detention.

According to Addameer human rights association, “Several Palestinian prisoners have died as a result of being subjected to force-feeding. These include Abdul-Qader Abu al-Fahm who had died on 11 May 1970 during a hunger strike in Ashkelon prison, Rasem Halawah and Ali al-Ja’fari, who died following the insertion of the feeding tubes into their lungs instead of their stomachs in July 1980 during a hunger strike in Nafha prison, and Ishaq Maragha, who died in Beersheba prison in 1983.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said that Palestinian prisoners in Nafha, Ishel, Hadareem, and Rimon Israeli jails have announced their decision to embark Tuesday on several escalatory steps in support of hunger strikers as well as to protest the prison administrations’ policy against their families during visitations, particularly the humiliating searches.

Source: WAFA