The Supreme Court issued a precedent-setting ruling yesterday (1/9/04) stating that the right of prisoners or detainees to meet with their attorneys must be ensured, also for those who are on a hunger strike. The Supreme Court also established that the refusal by the IPS to allow such meetings to take place, as the state legal counsel admitted, was illegal. The Supreme Court granted the status of a judicial ruling to the state undertaking to facilitate, from this point on, meetings between prisoners and detainees who are on a hunger strike and their attorneys.
The ruling was issued in response to a petition submitted by Adalah Attorney Orna Kohn, and ACRI Attorney Sonia Boulos. The petition was submitted on Sunday morning on behalf of seven attorneys who had requested meetings with prisoners or detainees on a hunger strike since the declaration of the strike and were refused, and on behalf of seven other human rights organizations: al-Damir, Mandela Institute for Prisoners, Al-Haq, The Arab Association for Human Rights, The Prisoners’ Association, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, and HaMoked – Center for the Defense of the Individual.