The mother and wife of a Palestinian man being held without trial in a Palestinian Authority (PA) prison in the West Bank have gone on a hunger strike as part of a campaign to secure his release. Four days after they began their hunger strike, the two women were rushed to hospital for medical treatment. The women say they will not end their hunger strike unless the PA releases Abdel Rahman Shaheen, who was detained in early January.
The mother of another Palestinian being held in PA prison, Murad Fattash, has also gone on a hunger strike to protest the continued incarceration of her son, who was also detained by the PA in early January.
Palestinians say that Shaheen and Fattash are among dozens of “political detainees” who are being held in PA prisons and detention centers in various parts of the West Bank.
Most of the detainees were taken into custody for criticizing the PA and its leaders and policies. They include engineers, lawyers, university lecturers and students, journalists and political activists affiliated with opposition groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the PLO’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
According to some human rights organizations, the Palestinians held in PA prisons are often subjected to various forms of torture.
In a letter to Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a number of Palestinian human rights organizations recently demanded that the international agency speak out against the politically motivated arrests by the PA in the West Bank.