Rare Palestinian battles
are won. Liberating struggles continue.
Hunger strikers Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi were released. After 92
days without food, Israel agreed to free footballer Mahmoud Sarsak.
He'll leave prison on July 10. He's been held nearly three years uncharged
Doing so constitutes gulag justice.
In the presence of prison officials and his lawyer, he ceremonially
broke his fast by eating a piece of chocolate.
He faces a protracted struggle back to full health. His ordeal left
him close to death. What's ahead remains uncertain.
On June 20, a joint Addameer/Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)
press release headlined:
"Battle of the Empty Stomachs wages on: Akram Rikhawi’s health continues
to deteriorate as Mahmoud Sarsak’s hunger strike successfully concludes,"
Akram Rikhawi continues hunger striking for justice. June 22 was day
72. He faces "imminent threat to his life...."
On June 19, Addameer lawyer Mona Neddaf saw him. He's at Ramle Prison's
clinic. Independent doctors can't treat him. PHR-I physicians last visited
him on June 6.
He's extremely tired, weak, and at risk. At 108 pounds, he's considerably
below his normal weight. Since June 16, he refused vitamins and IV drips.
He's only ingesting water.
Neddaf "observe(d) that even drinking water is now very difficult for
him, and he is only able to consume approximately one liter per day."
Ramle provides appalling medical care. Its doctors violate their Hippocratic
Oath. They don't treat patients ethically and responsibly.
They're indifferent to human suffering. They're complicit in torture
and other abuses.They're not doctors. They're charlatans.
Israel won't let Akram or other prisoners get proper care. He faces
imminent death. Fasting, severe weight loss, and chronic illnesses threaten
He suffers from diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.
He's been held unjustly at Ramle since 2004. He demands release on medical
On June 14, an Israeli District Court rejected PHR-I's request to transfer
him to civilian care. It also denied his release petition and won't
intervene to permit family visits.
Even Israel's draconian gulag rules provide parole eligibility after
two-thirds of sentences are served. Akram qualifies. It didn't help.
He's held in the same room as Samer Barq. He's also hunger striking.
On June 22, he reached day 33. He's administratively detained uncharged.
Akram said he and Samer retain hope. Their morale is high. Their cause
is just. They deserve freedom, not prison. They committed no crimes.
They're both pressured to resume eating.
Like thousands of others in Israel's gulag, they're political prisoners.
They resist courageously. Struggling for justice with empty stomachs
is their only option. They hope they won't be forgotten.
Addameer and PHR-I urge continued pressure to get Israel to observe
its international law obligations.
It spurns them with impunity. Racism is official state policy. So is
state terror. Israel is a global menace. It policies threaten humanity.
After two and a half months without food, Akram may have little time
left. Israel doesn't care if he lives or dies.
A Final Comment
On June 8, UN Special (Palestinian human rights) Rapporteur Richard
Falk expressed deep concern for Mahmoud Sarsak and Akram Rikhawi, saying:
"These individuals are protesting against their detention without charges
and are suffering immensely for it.
"There is no acceptable basis for continuing to hold these persons,
and Israel will be responsible if any permanent harm results."
Sarsak was granted released. Akram's ordeal continues.
"If Israeli officials cannot present evidence to support charges against
(him), then (he and others uncharged) must be released immediately."
"Israel must end the appalling and unjust treatment of Palestinian prisoners,
and the international community needs to raise its voice and take steps
to end Israel’s flagrant misuse of administrative detention."
Falk said he'd follow up on every Palestinian held uncharged and report
to the Human Rights Council on July 2.
He's an outspoken Israeli critic. So are others like him unwilling to
tolerate its appalling human rights abuses.
Under international law, they're crimes against humanity. Responsible
officials must be held accountable. Impunity is no longer an option.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized
Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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