UN Rights Expert Raises Alarm Over Palestinian Prisoners On Hunger Strike In Israeli Prisons
UN Press Release—HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL–2 May 2012
UN rights expert raises alarm over Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli Prisons
GENEVA (30 April 2012) – UN Special Rapporteur
on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk
on Monday said he was appalled by the “continuing human rights violations in Israeli prisons,” amid a massive wave of hunger strikes
by Palestinian prisoners.
In extraordinary acts of collective nonviolent resistance to abusive conditions connected to Israel’s prolonged
occupation of Palestinian territory, more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike on 17 April
2012, Palestinian Prisoners Day. This hunger strike is a protest against unjust arrest procedures, arbitrary detention
and bad prison conditions. Prison authorities have reportedly taken punitive measures against those on hunger strike,
including by denying them family and lawyer visits, confiscating their personal belongings and placing them in solitary
“I am appalled by the continuing human rights violations in Israeli prisons and I urge the Government of Israel to
respect its international human rights obligations towards all Palestinian prisoners,” Falk said. “Israel must treat
those prisoners on hunger strike in accordance with international standards, including by allowing the detainees visits
from their family members.”
Falk noted that since the 1967 war, estimated 750,000 Palestinians including 23,000 women and 25,000 children have gone
through detention in Israeli jails. This constitutes approximately 20 percent of the total Palestinian population in the
occupied Palestinian territory or 40 percent of the total male Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian
“Israel’s wide use of administrative detention flies in the face of international fair trial standards,” Falk said.
“Detainees must be able to effectively challenge administrative detention orders, including by ensuring that lawyers
have full access to the evidence on which the order was issued.” The Special Rapporteur noted that Israel currently
holds around 300 Palestinians in administrative detention.
Falk called on the international community to ensure that Israel complies with international human rights laws and norms
in its treatment of Palestinian prisoners.
In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council designated Richard Falk (United States of America) as the fifth Special Rapporteur
on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The mandate was originally established
in 1993 by the UN Commission on Human Rights. Learn more, log on to: http://www2.ohchrorg/english/countries/ps/mandate/index.htm