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Lawyer: Palestinian prisoner on 30th day of hunger strike

April 11, 2016 4:56 P.M. (Updated: April 12, 2016 11:49 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Palestinian prisoner Eyad Fawaghra has been on an open hunger strike for 30 days to protest his solitary confinement and the suspension of family visits by the Israeli authorities, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said on Monday.

Fawghra has refused to take painkillers or vitamins and plans to continue his strike until his demands are fulfilled, a lawyer for the Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, Yousef al-Nasassra, said in a statement.

Fawghra, a resident of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem currently detained in Israel's Eshel prison, has been in prison for 11 years serving a 27-year sentence.

“Fawghra is suffering from constant and chronic headaches, and Eshel prison services are trying to woo Fawaghra with medicine in attempt to get him to end his strike,” al-Nasassra said.

The lawyer warned that the prison had already begun to use punitive methods to end Fawaghra’s strike.

“All his personal belongings, including clothing and bed sheets, were taken from him and he is prevented from bathing,” he said. “They also search his room twice a day over unfounded excuses.”

Al-Nasassra called for “quick interference” by human rights organization to end Fawaghra’s solitary confinement.

At least three other Palestinian prisoners are currently carrying out hunger strikes to protest their administrative detention -- internment without charge or trial. They were identified as Sami al-Janazreh, who has been on hunger strike for 40 days, and Beit Liqya natives Adeeb Mafarja and Fouad al-Assi, who have been on hunger strike for nine days.

Rights groups have long criticized Israel for mistreatment of Palestinians in Israeli jails, as well as the illegality of their imprisonment. Addameer has documented extensive use of both solitary confinement and isolation by Israel's prison service, under circumstances the group says are violations of international law.

Many Palestinian prisoners face torture, denial of family visitation, and medical negligence.

On Thursday, Palestine Prisoners’ Center for Studies spokesman Riyad al-Ashqar said solitary confinement was being used by Israel against hunger-striking prisoners as a way to pressure them into ending their strike.
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