Johannesburg – CAGE Africa supports the current hunger strike launched on 17 April by over 1500 Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israeli prisons.

We call for an end to solitary confinement, itself declared a form of torture by the United Nations, and an end to torture and other inhumane and degrading treatment that features as a daily occurrence in the lives of Palestinian prisoners.

We also call for an end to administrative detention, a process which violates international law and due process, and where individuals are effectively imprisoned without trial. Administrative detention can be indefinitely renewed, creating a torturous existence of perpetual imprisonment.

Nobody could embody the cruelty suffered by Palestinians more than Samar al-Hilmi, who has embarked on more than 4 hunger strikes and has been in Israeli prisons for more than 7 years under administrative detention despite the US saying he was not a terrorism risk in 2003. During that time he has been beaten, put in isolation for long periods in a tiny cell, repeatedly refused family visits and denied medical assistance.

On one occasion while on hunger strike in 2012, guards entered the isolation cell and announced that they were going to transfer the protestors to another section of the medical clinic. When al-Hilmi and one other prisoner refused transfer saying they would be sharing a room with prisoners who would be eating, he was beaten and put in isolation with no mattresses.

This is the treatment that prisoners risk when they are on hunger strike, and they deserve our full support.

Feroze Boda of CAGE Africa, said:

“The Israeli processes that facilitate the indefinite detention of Palestinians without trial are completely illegal under international law. Moreover, the treatment of Palestinians in prisons violate basic human rights standards and fulfil the requirements of being called torture. The hunger strike is a heroic effort by prisoners to better their circumstances and it deserves all the world’s support.”

“We commend all those in South Africa who stood in solidarity with the prisoners in the 24-hour hunger strike on 15 May. No doubt their action gave strength to those inside prison. We urge those partaking in fasting during the upcoming month of Ramadan to spare thoughts and prayers for all those suffering under the occupation of Palestine, but in particular the political prisoners like Samar Al-Hilmi.”


Image courtesy of @LatuffCartoons

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)