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Getting Away with Torture in Israel

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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Israeli Prison Service (IPS) guards mistreat Safadi and Samer al-Barq severely. Both men refuse food for justice. On August 20, al-Barq reached day 91. Safadi hasn't eaten for 61 days. Previously he abstained for 71 days.

On August 14, Addameer lawyer Fares Ziad visited Safadi. He explained the previous day's abuse. IPS guards entered his isolation room. He shares it with al-Barq. Both men are held lawlessly in Ramleh Prison.

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They were told about IPS intentions to move them to the general prison population. They refused. They consider doing so pressure to begin eating by placing them among other prisoners ingesting food in full view.

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In response, guards attacked them. Safadi's head was slammed hard against an iron door twice. He lost consciousness. They dragged him through a hall in view of other detainees. That evening, both men were placed in renewed isolation with no mattresses.

Safadi said he'll no longer ingest water. Throughout weeks without food, it's been his only form of sustenance. In solidarity, other prisoners began refusing meals.

Both men are administratively detained uncharged and untried. Doing so constitutes cruel and inhumane mistreatment. Safadi was promised release when his current term expired. Instead, Israel renewed his detention. He can be held indefinitely without charge or trial. Innocence is no defense. A military judge has final say. No ruling has been rendered.

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Two other Palestinians also refuse food. On August 20, Ayman Sharawna and Samer Al-Issawi reached days 51 and 20 respectively. They committed no crimes. So-called secret evidence justifies holding them. Hunger striking for justice is their only defense.

Addameer, Al-Haq and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel demand international community leaders intervene on their behalf. Action, not lip service, is essential. Thousands of other wrongfully held detainees also need help. Arab lives matter as much as Jewish ones. Israel operates by different standards. It's long past time it be held accountable.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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