The following press statement was issued 13 February 2013 under the auspices of the UN Human Rights
Council in my capacity as Special Rapporteur for Palestinian Territories Occupied since 1967. This nonviolent
resistance to unlawful and abusive detention practices by Israel is a human rights outrage that should be the
occasion of media attention and a worldwide outcry. I encourage all who can to exert pressure on Israel before
these individuals die in captivity. They are currently reported to be in grave condition. Please use all
social networking tools to alert contacts.
Press Statement – UN expert calls for the immediate
release of three Palestinian detainees on hunger strike held by Israel without
today called for the immediate release of three Palestinian detainees held
without charges by Israel. Mr. Falk expressed deep concern for the fate of
Tarek Qa’adan and Jafar Azzidine, who are on their 78th day of hunger
strike, and Samer Al-Issawi, who has been on partial hunger strike for
over 200 days.
“Continuing to hold Mr. Qa’adan, Mr Azzidine and Mr. Al-Issawi under these
conditions is inhumane. Israel is responsible for any permanent harm,”
warned the independent expert designated by the Human Rights Council to
monitor and report on Israeli rights violations in Palestine. “If Israeli
officials cannot present evidence to support charges against these men,
then they must be released immediately.”
“Mr. Qa’adan and Mr. Azzidine are reportedly on the verge of death, with
the threat of a fatal heart attack looming,” the expert noted, recalling
that both men were arrested on 22 November 2012 and began their hunger
strikes on 28 November, after being sentenced to administrative detention
for a period of three months. They were transferred to Assaf Harofi
Hospital near Tel Aviv on 24 January 2013 after their conditions
This is the second time that Mr. Azzidine and Mr. Qa’adan have undertaken
hunger strikes against administrative detention, since they took part in
the mass hunger strike of Palestinians from 17 April to 14 May 2012. Mr.
Qa’adan had been released after 15 months of detention on 8 July 2012 and
Mr. Azzidine had been released on 19 June 2012 after three months of
detention, before being re-arrested.
“Israel must end the appalling and unlawful treatment of Palestinian
detainees. The international community must react with a sense of urgency
and use whatever leverage it possesses to end Israel’s abusive reliance on
administrative detention,” urged the Special Rapporteur.
Mr. Falk noted that Israel currently holds at least 178 Palestinians in