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Samer al-Issawi declares new hunger strike in solidarity with female Palestinian prisoners

Oct. 27, 2016 4:49 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 29, 2016 3:45 P.M.)
(File)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Prominent Palestinian prisoner Samer al-Issawi has been on hunger strike for three days at the Israeli prison of Nafha, sources told Sawt al-Asra (Voice of Prisoners) radio station on Thursday.

Sawt al-Asra said that al-Issawi was forgoing food to obtain the end of the mistreatment of Palestinian female prisoners in the Damon detention center.

His demands also included the transfer of these prisoners to a detention facility closer to the courts in which the detainees are tried, that the prisoners be provided with appropriate medical treatment, and that international NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) be allowed to visit the prisoners.

Al-Issawi gained global recognition in 2012 when he began a hunger strike to protest being redetained by Israel after he was freed as part of the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal.

Upon signing a deal guaranteeing his release, the East Jerusalem native ended his strike in April 2013 after 266 days without food.

Al-Issawi was released in December 2013, only to be detained once again six months later.

In 2015, al-Issawi joined a hunger strike in solidarity with fellow prisoner Muhammad Allan to denounce Israel’s policy of administrative detention -- internment without charges or trial.

Scores of Palestinian prisoners have launched hunger strikes in the past year to protest administrative detention or the conditions of their incarceration. The most prominent hunger strikers included Muhammad al-Qiq, Bilal Kayid, and Muhammad and Mahmoud Balboul.

According to Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons as of August. The prisoners rights group estimates that 40 percent of Palestinian men have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.
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