12 March 2003 - Press Release by Addameer
Political prisoners in Jericho Central Prison begin open-ended hunger strike in protest of arbitrary procedures
Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association views with great concern new developments that have taken place against Palestinian Authority political prisoners being detained at Jericho Central Prison. Beginning 11 March 2003, the administration of the prison launched a series of arbitrary and inhumane measures against the political detainees, including:
- banning visits to the detainees, including family visits;
- banning recreational time outside of prison cells and outdoors;
- banning daily newspapers, mail and telephone use for detainees
The detainees were informed yesterday that the prison administration, based on orders from the director of the Jericho Police, decided to implement these measures, with no reason given. Based on the nature of the new measures, it would appear that the prison administration is attempting to isolate the prisoners from the outside world.
In an alarming move, the prison administration today, 12 March 2003, cut off all electricity and water to the prisoner`s section. Again, this was carried out arbitrarily, without any indication as to why the decision was taken, and suggests that the prison administration will continue in carrying out indiscriminate punishments against the prisoners by banning their most basic necessities whilst in prison. The cutting off of electricity and water to prison cells is an unprecedented move by the Palestinian Authority prison administration.
On the morning of 12 March 2003, the political detainees announced that they would begin an open-ended hunger strike until their demands for putting an end to all such arbitrary and inhumane measures against them were met.
Addameer, while expressing concern about these developments, is shocked that the Jericho prison administration has taken such cruel measures, and calls for:
- An immediate end to all arbitrary measures taken against the political detainees, in violation of international standards of conditions of detention and the treatment of political detainees in particular;
- The immediate implementation of the Palestinian High Court ruling, the highest judicial body within the Palestinian Authority, calling for the immediate release of Ahmad Sa`adat, one of the political detainees held without charge or trial in Jericho Central Prison;
- The immediate release of Ahed Ghoulmi, who remains imprisoned at Jericho Central Prison, despite the fact that he has completely served the sentence imposed on him during an impromptu court hearing, which did not meet international standards of fair trial;
- The necessity to define the legal status of these prisoners and the body responsible for their detention. (Political prisoners being held at Jericho Central Prison are being held in a Palestinian Authority prison, as part of a deal brokered with Israel, under joint American-British guards. However, the prison is administered by the Palestinian Authority Prisons Authority. For more detailed information, please see
Addameer Association expresses its solidarity with the political detainees in Jericho Central Prison in their decision to go on hunger strike and calls on the international community to urge their local authorities to demand the cessation of such indiscriminate and arbitrary measures against the detainees.