Family and supporters of Palestinian hunger striker Maher al-Akhras have joined him in a hunger strike as they have been prevented by Israeli security forces from visiting him in what may be his final days. His steadfast example is mobilizing more and more people to his support.
Maher Al-Akhras, a Palestinian man of 49 who has been detained repeatedly by Israel, is today in Day 78 of a hunger strike that has brought him close to death. Arrested in July without charges and held at an Israeli hospital since September, the West Bank man has refused an offer to be released next month, demanding his release now in the name of all Palestinian detainees.
“Dear colleagues, I ask you to take a few minutes of your time to act in support of Palestinians and against the illegal procedure of administrative detention.” Prof. Imad Barghouthi asks for international support as he waits for an Israeli court to review the military order that put him under administrative detention for four months.
“The repeated arrest of one of Palestine’s most active and prominent scientists is a direct attack to Palestinian’s right to science protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” says 2018 Chemistry Nobel Laureate George Smith. “The violation of the right to science anywhere is an attack to scientists everywhere”.
“It’s a crime that the Israeli military would pull a gentle soul like Ubai [Aboudi] out of his home in front of his family in the middle of the night,” Noam Chomsky said in a joint statement published by Scientists for Palestine. “They are clearly sending a signal to anyone who works with Palestinian civil society.” The group seeks the release of political economist Aboudi, arrested by Israel on November 13 and held in administrative detention.
Ramzy Baroud writes, “Of the dozens of Palestinian and Arab prisoners I interviewed in recent months for a soon-to-be-published volume on the history of the Palestinian prison experience, every single one of them underwent a prolonged process of torture during the initial interrogation, that often extended for months.”
Palestinians are expressing outrage after hunger-striking prisoner Heba al-Labadi, 24, revealed new details surrounding her interrogation by Israeli forces, and numerous torture tactics used on her in order to force her to end her strike. Her case, along with several other young Palestinians arrested in recent weeks, are garnering attention locally and on social media.