On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, this Conference announces its strong condemnation of the Israeli violations against Palestinian administrative detainees, particularly those who were on hunger-strike in protest against their illegal, prolonged detention.
The Conference strongly condemns the Israeli new “force-feeding bill”, which allows security authorities and medical staff to forcibly feed hunger-striking detainees in violation of international law.
This practice constitutes cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, and the threat of force feeding and the possible violence against those detainees amounts to torture.
Thousands of Palestinians have been held in administrative detention by Israel since 1967 under a legal procedure that allows the military authority to arrest persons without charge or trial through the Emergency Powers Law (1979).
While international law permits the use of administrative detention, it is permitted under strict conditions and as a last resort.
Israeli law; however, enables the detention of people without charge or trial for unlimited, renewable terms of one to six months.
Administrative detainees are denied basic due process rights; including the opportunity to challenge secret evidence against them.
Since the disappearance of three Israelis in the occupied West Bank on 12 June 2014, the Israeli military forces have arrested hundreds of Palestinians there.
Regardless the wide international calls on Israel to end administrative detention, Israel put about 100 Palestinians under administrative detention orders in the past few days.
Another 200 more administrative detention orders are expected to be issued within the coming few days.
The Israeli legislature continues this week to debate the “force-feeding bill”, which, if passed, will permit the security authorities and medical staff to forcibly feed detainees on hunger strike.
The intention behind the law’s swift processing is to break a two-month hunger strike, which began on 24 April 2014 and ended on 25 June 2014.
About 80 hunger strikers are still hospitalized in Israel due to their dire health status.
They are shackled to their beds around the clock and face many restrictions.
The next reading and vote on the bill is expected to take place on Monday 30 June 2014.
Force-feeding and the physical coercion accompanying it amount to torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment which is blatant violation of international law as well as of international medical ethics and regulations.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed its concern over the new law.
Several UN bodies, UN Special Rapporteurs, International Committee of the Red Cross, and World Medical Association have considered force-feeding as a violation of international law.
Therefore, this Conference calls on: International community to exert pressure on Israel to end its policy of administrative detention, ensure respect of the rights and dignity of Palestinian detainees held by Israel by granting them fair trial that lives up to the related international standards, and to secure the release of all detainees who are not charged in a fair trial; Stop all punitive procedures against Palestinian detainees who were on hunger strike and ensure their safety and dignity; and Demand that Israel immediately withdraws the force-feeding bill as it is grave violation of hunger-strike detainees’ rights.