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President, minister press for world to save Khader Adnan

Feb. 17, 2012 3:06 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 18, 2012 7:19 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe said Friday he will take the case of hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan to the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, as officials said the president was pushing foreign diplomats to step in to save the prisoner.

Qaraqe said he will brief Richard Falk on Adnan's condition in Jordan on Sunday, after the Islamic Jihad leader's administrative detention order was upheld by an Israeli military court on Monday.

Adnan has refused food for over 60 days in the longest-ever hunger strike by a Palestinian prisoner.

The briefing, which the minister says will also cover Israel's "inhumane" practice of detaining Palestinians without charge, will contribute to Falk's annual report on the situation in the Palestinian territories that goes before the UN General Assembly.

Qaraqe was speaking at a visit to the family of detainee Ahmad Shihadeh, 50, in Qalandiya refugee camp to mark 28 years of their son's imprisonment by Israel.

Meanwhile, PLO official Saeb Erekat said Friday that President Mahmoud Abbas pressed for international intervention to save Adnan's life at meetings with representatives from Russia, China, Britain and the EU.

Abbas met with acting EU Representative to Palestine John Gatt-Rutter, British Consul-General Sir Vincent Fean, Russian representative to the PA Alexander Rudakov, and Chinese Ambassador to the PA Yang Wei Guo, Erekat said.

The president also sent messages to the US administration, the EU secretary-general, and France calling for Adnan's release, he added.

Adnan's wife said Thursday that his health condition has seriously deteriorated.

His protest against the practice of detention without charge and his treatment by Israeli authorities, has sparked widespread solidarity protests and hunger strikes in Israeli jails, Gaza and the West Bank.

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