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Palestinian on hunger strike beaten by soldiers

The Addameer Prisoner Support & Human Rights Association reports that its lawyer Fares Ziad recently visited three of the 12 Palestinian political prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli facilities. Ziad confirmed that the health of all three continue to rapidly deteriorate, with one hunger striker savagely beaten by five Israeli soldiers. All three have been on hunger strike for 99 days. Prisoner Mohammad Rimawi in Suroka Hospital at Beersheba was informed Aug. 5 that he would be moved to another section within the hospital. Upon enquiring about the reasons for the proposed move, Rimawi had his hands and legs shackled and was then thrown on the ground and savagely beaten by five Israeli soldiers who were guarding him, according to Addameer. Ziad confirmed that that the bruises on Rimawi are still clearly visible. Mohammad has since been moved to another section, shackled to the bed, and threatened with being force-fed if he continues his strike.

Fares also visited hunger striker Abdullah Barghouthi, currently being held in Affoulah hospital. He remains in critical condition, and suffers from a number of ailments including problems with his liver, low blood pressure and constant migraines. He is unable to walk without assistance and is taking only water, salt and mineral supplements. Currently Barghouthi is shackled to a bed and guarded by three Israeli soldiers. He has also been threatened with force-feeding should he fall into a coma.

Fellow hunger striker Ala' Hammad is also being held at Suroka Hospital, and remains in critical condition. All three hunger strikers hold Jordanian citizenship, and are demanding to be released from Israeli prisons to serve the remainder of their sentences in Jordan in line with previous agreements between Israel and Amman. Addameer is calling on the international community to immediately intervene to save the lives of all hunger strikers, and to pressure Israel to abide by its legal obligations. Addameer condemns the treatment to which hunger strikers are subjected to, particularly the physical abuse and the threats of force feeding which according to the World Medical Association's Declaration of Malta, "is never ethically acceptable." (Addameer, Aug. 7)

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