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Mother of prisoner launches solidarity hunger strike

Feb. 17, 2013 2:37 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 12:19 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The mother of Ayman Sharawna has begun an open-ended hunger strike to show solidarity with her son, a prisoners group said Sunday.

Addameer said that Sharawna's brother has also announced strike action to demonstrate solidarity with Ayman, who was released under the 2011 prisoner swap deal but rearrested shortly after and held without charge ever since.

Sharawna, 37, first launched hunger strike action on July 1, 2012, ending his protest on Dec. 23 after believing there were developments in case, Addameer said.

He started his strike again on Jan. 1 and stopped on Jan. 3, understanding that a court date had been set for Jan. 22, which turned out to be incorrect.

Sharawna has now restarted hunger strike action again, the prisoners group said, adding that they are still waiting to confirm the exact date he began.

On Feb. 20, Israel's High Court will hear a petition by several lawyers, including from Addameer, against article 186 of Israeli military order 1651, which gives an Israeli military committee the power to cancel amnesty for a prisoner based on confidential information not available to the detainee, or the detainee's lawyer.

Under this order, Sharawna, together with other prisoners released in a 2011 swap deal, could be forced to serve out the remainder of their original sentence based on secret evidence, which in Sharawna's case would amount to a further 28 years in jail, Addameer said.

On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians protested across the West Bank in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike, sparking clashes with Israeli forces.

Outside Israel's Ofer jail, near Ramallah, hundreds gathered in solidarity with Samer Issawi, who has been on hunger strike for 200 days, and Tareq Qaadan and Jaafar Azzidine who have refused food for 82 days.
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