Human rights concerns over force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners

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Palestinian refugee from Syria. Credit: UNRWA

The United Nations Human Rights office says that it's concerned about a proposed change to Israeli law that would reportedly allow prisoners on hunger strike, who refuse force-feeding, to be sedated.

The amendment could be passed next Monday.

The office says it is closely following the situation of Palestinian hunger strikers who are protesting against Israel’s on going practice of imprisonment without charge or trial, known as administrative detention.

The health of a number of hunger strikers is reportedly critical and continues to deteriorate.

Ravina Shamdasani is the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"The High Commissioner has written to the Israeli Permanent Representative to the UN, here in Geneva, to express her concerns that, if passed, this amendment would permit force-feeding and medical treatment of prisoners on hunger strike against their will under certain conditions, in contravention of international standards." (17″)

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, have repeatedly said that such prisoners should either be charged or released without delay.

Nicki Chadwick, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1'10"

 

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