03 October 2022
The Justice for Salah campaign is extremely alarmed by the inhumane treatment of the Israeli apartheid regime against our colleague, human rights defender (HRD), and lawyer Mr. Salah Hammouri. The recent punitive act of holding Mr. Hammouri in solitary confinement in Hadarim high-security prison and depriving him of salt, as a result of joining a hunger strike, exemplifies the prolonged persecution campaign perpetrated by the Israeli authorities against Mr. Hammouri. Since the age of 15, he has been subject to intense harassment, repeated arbitrary detention, and the denial of his fundamental rights, including the right to family and family unity; freedom of movement; the freedom of association, assembly, expression, and the right to protest; the right to pursue a livelihood; and the right to citizenship. The latest in this series of attacks was the revocation of his Jerusalem residency and placing him under administrative detention, subject to indefinite renewals and at continuous risk of imminent deportation.
On 25 September, 30 Palestinian administrative detainees including Mr. Hammouri, launched an open collective hunger strike against Israel’s arbitrary policy of administrative detention. Following the announcement of their collective open hunger strike, the Israeli Prison Services has punitively transferred all the detainees to isolation cells, away from the rest of the Palestinian prisoners and detainees. Out of the 30 detainees, 28 of them are held in Ofer Prison and are currently in collective isolation, divided into four separate prison cells. Of the other two, Salah Hammouri is being held in isolation in Hadarim while Ghassan Zawahreh is being held in solitary confinement in Naqab Prison.
On 2 October 2022, a lawyer visited Mr. Hammouri in Hadarim Prison and reported on his current detention and hunger strike conditions. Salah’s situation is of utmost urgency as he is deprived of salt and lives solely on water, which will significantly accelerate his physical deterioration. The conditions in the cell in which Mr. Hammouri is being placed are inhuman and unbearable; the cell is a filthy 2×3 square meter space with no windows, a blocked vent-hole, no natural light,, a primitive toilet no showers and a metal bed with a 2 cm mattress. Furthermore, Mr. Hammouri, alongside other hunger strikers, is denied all his personal belongings, including books, notebooks, and family photos, he is also deprived of clean underwear. Mr. Hammouri has been banned from outdoor time and activity since 28 September, family visits for a month and is subject to punitive fines for each day of his hunger strike. Salah reported to a lawyer that the Israeli Prison Services (IPS) has yet again pressured him to agree to deportation to France.
Mr. Hammouri, along with the other 29 detainees on hunger strike, are currently in a great deal of pain, they suffer sore muscles, dizziness, strong headaches, and weight loss. Mr. Hammouri has already lost seven kilograms since September 25.
The Justice for Salah campaign urges the international community to:
- Call on Israel to grant immediate release of Mr. Hammouri and to further end his systematic persecution, to allow him to live in his hometown, Jerusalem with his family;
- Call on Israel to put an end to the systematic and arbitrary use of administrative detention as a coercive, and punitive measure of torture against hundreds of Palestinians, including human rights defenders, and demand the immediate release of Salah Hammouri and all Palestinian detainees held in administrative detention indefinitely without charge or trial, contrary to international law;
- Call on Israel and the IPS to ensure and uphold Palestinian detainees’ right to life, the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as well as avoid and end all forms of reprisals against the striking detainees;
- Call on the international community and all High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations towards protecting human rights and enforcing the implementation of international humanitarian law;
- Call on the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor to expedite its investigation of the Situation in Palestine;
- Recognize the inhumane treatment of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees as part of the crime of Apartheid.