Israel: decision to release hunger striker Khader Adnan 'insufficient'
Over 300 Palestinians currently held in administrative detention, one for over five years
The Israeli authorities’ decision to release the Palestinian detainee Khader Adnan by mid-April is insufficient, Amnesty International said after reports that he has agreed to end his 66-day hunger strike.
Amnesty has urged Israel to release Khader Adnan immediately to allow him to receive urgent medical treatment. The 33-year-old baker - allegedly affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement - is at immediate risk of death after more than ten weeks on hunger strike.
Adnan is one of some 309 Palestinians, including more than 20 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, currently being held in administrative detention. One man has been held for over five years. Amnesty has called on Israel to end the practice of administrative detention because it violates the internationally recognised right to a fair trial which must be upheld for all detainees, even during states of emergency.
Adnan has been hospitalised since 30 December as his health deteriorated. He is currently being held in the Ziv hospital in northern Israel under armed guard.
Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Interim Director Philip Luther said:
“A deal which will see Khader Adnan released on 17 April unless significant new evidence emerges is insufficient when he needs urgent medical treatment to save his life now.
“Even if reports that Khader Adnan has agreed to end his hunger strike are true, this does not mean he is out of danger nor does it lessen the need for highly specialised medical care.
“He cannot constitute a ‘security threat’ in his current condition and should be released from custody immediately. The Israeli authorities have revealed no evidence justifying his continued detention.
“Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the Israeli authorities to release Khader Adnan and other Palestinians held in administrative detention, unless they are promptly charged with internationally recognisable criminal offences and tried in accordance with international fair trial standards.”
Israeli military orders allow the Israeli authorities to detain Palestinians from the occupied West Bank without trial indefinitely if they are deemed to be a “security threat” and Adnan was given a four-month administrative detention order on 10 January. He was arrested on 17 December at his home in the village of Arrabe near Jenin in the occupied West Bank, after Israeli security forces burst into his house in the early hours of the morning.
His prolonged hunger strike was begun in protest against his ill-treatment, the conditions of his detention, and the policy of administrative detention. As of 19 February, doctors from Physicians for Human Rights: Israel reported that he was still shackled to his hospital bed, despite commitments by the Israel Prison Service that the shackles would be removed.