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Outrage as Israel breaks prisoner agreement

June 21, 2012 7:20 P.M. (Updated: June 24, 2012 12:52 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Prisoner rights group Addameer on Thursday said it was outraged by Israel's decision to renew the administrative detention of a former hunger striker.

Hassan Safadi ended a 71-day hunger strike on May 14 after Israel promised not to renew his detention without charge or trial.

Israel's decision to renew Safadi's administrative detention by six months "is a blatant violation of the agreement between the prisoners’ hunger strike committee and Israeli officials," Addameer said.

Safadi went on hunger strike on March 5 in protest against his detention without charge. Thousands more joined the protest which ended on May 14 in a deal between prisoners and Israeli officials.

Addameer expressed concern that the extension of Safadi's sentence may indicate that further breaches of the agreement will follow.

"(T)here is now no guarantee that any of the long-term hunger strikers will be released upon their given dates."

Under the May 14 deal, prisoners representatives secured clear commitments from Israel that five administrative detainees on long-term hunger strike, including Safadi, would be released at the end of their term, Palestinian Prisoner Society head Qadura Fares said at the time.

Israel committed not to renew the administrative detention of over 300 Palestinians held without charge if there was no new information requiring their imprisonment, Fares added.

Israel also agreed to "facilitate" prisoners' demands to end solitary confinement and allow family visits for prisoners from Gaza.

Addameer noted that detainee Dirar Abu Sisi is still in solitary confinement, and another prisoner was moved into isolation last week.

Meanwhile, there has been no change in Israel's administrative detention policy and prisoners from Gaza have still not been allowed family visits.
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