February 13, 2013

Samer Issawi in "critical condition"

From al Akhbar via the Institute for Middle East Understanding:

Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi is in "critical condition" after 203 days spent on a hunger strike, activists said, sparking fears on Monday that he might not survive his protest against Israel’s abusive prison system.
Issawi is one of thousands of Palestinian prisoners who have gone on hunger strikes in the past year to denounce Israel’s policy of administrative detention and poor life conditions in prisons.
The 33-year old has been refusing food since July 2012, making it one of the longest hunger strikes in the world.
Issawi stopped drinking water and taking vitamins earlier this month, and is refusing medical care. His weight dropped to less than 47 kilograms and he is confined to a wheelchair, suffering from loss of vision, fainting and vomiting blood.
“His heart could stop at any moment,” said Daleen Elshaer, a coordinator for the Free Samer Issawi Campaign.
Elshaer told Al-Akhbar that Issawi’s lawyer and human rights activists were denied accessed to Issawi until Saturday during his most recent hospitalization outside of the infamous Ramlah prison.
Issawi was first arrested in 2002 and sentenced to thirty years in prison over weapons possession and forming a military group. He was released in an October 2011 prisoner swap agreement between Israel and Hamas in which the Jewish state freed 1,027 mostly-Palestinians in exchange for an Israeli soldier captured in 2006.
He was rearrested on 7 July 2012 and accused of violating the terms of his release by leaving Jerusalem. Israeli prosecutors are seeking to cancel his amnesty and detain him for 20 years, the remainder of his previous sentence, despite there being no other charges against him.
The case of Samer Issawis has been promoted heavily on Twitter lately.  Check out   or .

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