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Shalabi's mother: My daughter is dying in prison

March 8, 2012 12:50 P.M. (Updated: March 12, 2012 7:00 P.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- As the world marks International Women's Day, the mother of hunger-striking detainee Hana Shalabi appealed to the international community to save her daughter.

"I demand that the world stands by her now. My daughter is dying in prison. We are also dying here. This is my appeal to the world," Badiya Shalabi told Al-Haq human rights organization.

Hana Shalabi has been on hunger strike since Israeli forces detained her from her home in the northern West Bank on Feb. 16. She was beaten, blindfolded and forcibly strip-searched and assaulted by a male Israeli soldier, the Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organizations said.

Shalabi's lawyer Mahmoud Hassan told Ma'an she is determined to maintain the strike until she is released. On Wednesday an Israeli military judge postponed a decision on her appeal.

She appeared weak and exhausted in court and was shackled and handcuffed, Hassan said, adding that she had lost over 10 kilograms.

Shalabi's mother is also refusing food. "As long as my daughter is on hunger strike, I will not be able to have food. I am a mother. Every time I see food I think of Hana."

She added: "My life collapsed after Hana was detained. I am distracted all day and night. I think of Hana and cry for her."

Shalabi is sentenced to four months administrative detention. She has not been charged or tried with any offense.

The 29-year-old previously spent over two years in administrative detention in Israel and was released in October under the prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas.

Over 300 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails without trial, including around 20 MPs. As they are not informed of the charges against them, their lawyers cannot mount a defense.

Israel issues administrative detention orders for periods of up to six month, but the orders are indefinitely renewable and Palestinian detainees have been held in Israeli jails for up to eight years without trial.

In February, detainee Khader Adnan ended a 66-day hunger strike after Israel agreed to release him from administrative detention in April.

In a joint appeal Thursday, Palestinian human rights organizations urged the world to stand in solidarity with Shalabi and called for her immediate release.

"Hana should not be forced to wait 66 days before the world sits up and takes notice," the Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organizations said.
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