Lawyer of Palestinian hunger striker files appeal (AP) Associated Press) By DIAA HADID JERUSALEM, ISRAEL 02/18/12 9:27 am ET)
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JERUSALEM – A Palestinian waging a hunger strike for an unprecedented
63 days has appealed to Israel´s Supreme Court, demanding to be
released from months-long detention without trial, his lawyer said
Khader Adnan is fighting a provision that allows Israel to hold
detainees for months or even years without trial or formal charges.
Israeli officials say they use so-called "administrative detention"
to guard against immediate threats to the country´s security.
Adnan, a member of the militant group Islamic Jihad, has continued
his hunger strike longer than any Palestinian detainee before him.
His doctors warned this week that the 33-year-old might die soon.
"We are hoping ... the Supreme Court hears this case urgently," said
Mahmoud Hassan, one of Adnan´s lawyers. "He could die before the
court hearing happens."
The court has not set a date for the hearing. Hassan said in previous
cases, the high court at times reduced the sentence of administrative
detainees on appeal, but rarely ordered them freed outright.
The hunger strike has transformed Adnan into a Palestinian hero, with
thousands protesting in support of the once obscure bearded baker.
The Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad has vowed revenge if Adnan dies,
possibly by firing rockets into Israel from Gaza. The group has
killed dozens of Israelis in suicide bombings and other attacks.
Adnan was once a spokesman for the group. It´s unclear if he ever
participated in any attacks.
Adnan is under guard in an Israeli hospital, where officials are
monitoring his condition.
He is taking liquid infusions of salts, glucose and minerals, said
the Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights on Wednesday,
citing his doctor. The group is overseeing his medical care.
Adnan is still lucid, but he has shed some 66 pounds (30 kilograms),
his hair is falling out, his muscles have atrophied and he is in
immediate danger of death, said the group´s doctor.
Adnan is serving four months in administrative detention. Israeli
military judges can imprison defendants for up to six months at a
time, with the possibility of renewing the detention order
repeatedly. Defendants and their lawyers are not shown the alleged
evidence against them.
An Israeli military judge rejected an appeal by Adnan last week,
saying he reviewed the evidence and found the sentence to be fair.
On Saturday, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton
said the bloc was following Adnan´s case with "great concern."
"Detainees have the right to be informed about the charges underlying
any detention and be subject to a fair trial," Ashton said in a
Israeli military officials generally use administrative detention to
hold Palestinians who they believe are an imminent risk to the
country´s security. They say if the evidence against the accused was
made public, it would expose Israeli intelligence-gathering networks
in the Palestinian Territories. They say the process is under full
judicial review by Israel´s military and the Supreme Court.
Annan began his hunger strike on Dec. 18, a day after he was seized
from his home in the northern West Bank town of Arabeh.
He told his lawyers that he was beaten and humiliated during arrest
Also Saturday, Palestinian militants fired three rockets from Gaza
into Israel, officials said.
Israeli police spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby said the rockets landed in
an open area, causing no damage.
A years-old understanding between Israel and Gaza´s Hamas rulers have
halted much of the rocket fire from the tiny territory. (© 2012 The
Associated Press 02/18/12)
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