Palestinian detainee Khader Adnan at risk of imminent death after 45 days hunger strike

Adnan Khader, the head of the Islamic Jihad Movement in the West Bank, talking to the media after a meeting with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Muqata in the West Bank town of Ramallah June 28, 2005.

Mushir Abdelrahman Maan Images

Update 31 January: Adnan to stop taking liquids 47-days into his hunger strike

Already in grave danger of death due to a hunger-strike that has now lasted 47 days, Khader Adnan, who is being held by Israel without charge or trial, has announced he will stop taking liquids. IMEMC reports:

The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) reported Tuesday that the Israeli Prison Administration (IPA) informed Khader’s lawyer that he had decided to stop drinking liquids after he was prevented from meeting her.

The lawyer stated that the situation of Khader is gradually and dangerously deteriorating, and that the IPA informed her that it will be obliged to administer liquids even if he refuses.

Prison Physicians stated that, should Khader refrain from drinking any liquids, his body will likely collapse within three days, therefore, they have decided to administer liquids.

Israel prison authorities have said they will administer liquids involuntarily.

On Monday, the Israeli military court extended Adnan’s “administrative” detention and said it would hear his case on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Detainees in Gaza, Atallah Abu-Sabh called on Egypt, the Red Crescent and international human rights organizations to intervene urgently to save the life of Adnan, whom, he noted, has not been charged with any crime.

Original article

Khader Adnan, 34, a Palestinian being held without charge or trial, is at grave risk of death after 45 days of continuous hunger strike, according to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR), whose doctors examined him.

In a press release today, PHR stated, citing the World Medical Association, that,

after the 42nd day of a hunger strike, it is expected that individuals will begin to lose their hearing and vision, and suffer bleeding in the gums, intestines, and esophagus. The body will gradually stop functioning. After the 45th day, there is a high risk of death due to vascular system collapse and/or cardiac arrest.

Adnan was violently seized from his home in the village of Arabe near Jenin by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank on December 17, and is being held in “administrative detention” – without even the pretense of legal rights or due process.

PHR’s release (below) states that the Israeli military allowed two PHR physicians to examine Adnan, and they informed him of the predicted effects of continuing the hunger strike:

PHR-Israel appealed urgently on 29 January 2012 to allow one of their physicians to see Mr. Adnan, in keeping with guidelines drawn from the World Medical Association (WMA) Declaration of Malta of 1991, as well as Israeli law.

A military medical officer has responded that this request was received and is in process. Adnan conditioned his referral to a hospital on being examined by PHR Israel’s physicians, when such a commitment was granted by the IPS, two of PHR-Israel’s doctors met him at the hospital, examined his condition and answered his questions regarding the current and predicted effects of his hunger strike. For now, he decided to continue his hunger strike.

Full text of press release

An Administrative Detainee at Potential Life Risk: On Hunger Strike for 45 days, Struggling for His Freedom & Human Dignity

  • Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) Sent Independent Doctors to Examine Khader Adnan.

  • Israeli Prison Service (IPS) Allowed Detainee to Speak to His Family Due to His On Going Hunger Strike and Fear for His Health

Khader Adnan, 34 from Arabe near Jenin, detained on December 17th, went on a hunger strike from the second day of his arrest as a protest against the circumstances of detention and his interrogators behavior. Ever since, for 45 days, he does not eat and only drinks water, refusing all nutrients and transfusions. His health is deteriorating and his life will be in danger if he continues the hunger strike.

In an affidavit to an attorney sent by PHR Israel, Adnan describes his arrest as violent that included threatening and humiliating Adnan’s family members. Adnan described that the soldiers broke into his house masked and guns drawn toward the family. According to his complaint, he was shackled hands behind his back and was taken by a jeep to the settlement of Mavo-Dotan discarded on the floor of the jeep. All during the drive he was kicked and slapped by the soldiers. When arriving to Mavo-Dotan he was detained outside at the freezing cold, his shackled hands swelling, his lower lip bleeding.

During the interrogation by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA, previously known as GSS), at Kishon detention center, Adnan was seated shackled to a chair tilted back in a position that caused him acute back pains with hands behind his back. The interrogators humiliated and cursed him, threatening to harm his family and his honor. According to his affidavit, humiliating insinuations were made using his religion.

Following one day of such harsh and humiliating interrogation, Adnan went on a full hunger strike, now entering its 45th day. Although on a hunger strike, Adnan’s interrogation continued, for long hours, until December 29th. From the 7th day of the hunger Strike Adnan refuses medical examination by the IPS.

PHR-Israel appealed urgently on 29 January 2012 to allow one of their physicians to see Mr. Adnan, in keeping with guidelines drawn from the World Medical Association (WMA) Declaration of Malta of 1991, as well as Israeli law.

A military medical officer has responded that this request was received and is in process. Adnan conditioned his referral to a hospital on being examined by PHR Israel’s physicians, when such a commitment was granted by the IPS, two of PHR-Israel’s doctors met him at the hospital, examined his condition and answered his questions regarding the current and predicted effects of his hunger strike. For now, he decided to continue his hunger strike.

According to the WMA, after the 42nd day of a hunger strike, it is expected that individuals will begin to lose their hearing and vision, and suffer bleeding in the gums, intestines, and esophagus. The body will gradually stop functioning. After the 45th day, there is a high risk of death due to vascular system collapse and/or cardiac arrest.

PHR Israel emphasize that IPS procedures regarding hunger strikers are unclear and some raise suspicion of violation of medical ethics. An appeal of PHR Israel’s ethic committee to the IPS during the hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners during September and October 2011 is yet without reply.

Anat Litvin, director of PHR Israel’s Prisoners & Detainees Department: “The fact that a person does not know when his detention will end nor the nature of the accusations brought against him, makes administrative detention unbearable, and similar to torture. Adnan’s hunger strike is clearly endangering his life, but should be also seen as a legitimate protest of a man trying to keep his dignity in face of gross abuse of his basic rights as a human being.”

  • Administrative detention. Administrative detention in Israel is carried out under a heavy veil of secrecy, and does not permit detainees to marshal the legal assistance or representation accorded to them by international law. Israel regularly keeps Palestinians in extended administrative detention without charging them, informing them of the charges against them, or allowing their attorneys to review evidence. Mr. Adnan’s case reflects this conduct and is in blatant disregard of both Israeli and international law, which are intended to ensure the right to liberty and due process, the right to be heard, and the presumption of innocence.

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There is a point in a persons life where they can not be pushed any further and keep their dignity. There is a time in a persons life when they need to be heard. It totally breaks my heart that Khader has reached this place in his life and that the whole world can not hear is voice. Ali Abunimah please make his voice heard--you are strong and when you speak it is clear to understand you, Martin King also had that talent--I admire that in you--make the world listen. I live in the US and as you know our news is censored, it seems to brought to us the was Israel would like us to hear it,,but I see through all that --the actions do not match the word on our broadcast news system.. You have the capacity to break through all that I have faith that you will make the world hear the voice of the Palestinians. My prayers are with Khader--

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How can Barak Obama sleep at night when the united snakes of america bankrolls these animals&arms them to the teeth with the latest military hardware?they are complicit in this oppresion&humiliation of the Palestinian people for so long.Will make Dua for brother Khader&his family.Allah(swt) is well aware of what they do!

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.