I am publishing here my press release of today expressing urgent concern about the fate of Khader Adnan, a Palestinian activist, who is near death resulting from his continuing hunger strike that expresses his refusal to accept the humiliating conditions of imprisonment without charges and accompanied by an Israeli court approved denial of visitation rights to his wife. Please do whatever you can to exert pressure to obtain the immediate release of Mr. Adnan, and to make the world aware that Israel is responsible for respecting his rights and protecting his wellbeing. The text below is released under the auspices of the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, and prepared in my role as Special Rapporteur for Occcupied Palestine of the Human Rights Council.
Israel: UN rights expert appeals for international help for a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike
CAIRO / GENEVA (15 February 2012) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, expressed his urgent and extreme concern regarding the situation of Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, and urged the international community to intervene on his behalf.
“I call on the international community, especially States with close relations with Israel, to urge the Israeli Government to fulfill its responsibilities under international law, most urgently with regard to Mr. Adnan,” the human rights expert said. Mr. Adnan, whose life is reportedly in jeopardy, has maintained a hunger strike for 60 days in response to the humiliating circumstances of his imprisonment without charges by the Government of Israel.
“In view of the emergency of his situation, the Government of Israel must take immediate and effective action to safeguard Mr. Adnan’s life, while upholding his rights,” stressed the Special Rapporteur, who is currently undertaking a fact-finding mission to the region.
Mr. Falk also called on the Government of Israel to respect its legal obligations pertaining to the several thousand Palestinians it has imprisoned. “The improper treatment of thousands of Palestinian prisoners by the Government of Israel should be of great concern to the international community, and it is a problem that I am paying close attention to in the context of my ongoing visit to the region.”
The Special Rapporteur will convene a press conference at the end of his regional visit, on 20 February in Amman, and will submit a full report on his mission to the Human Rights Council in June 2012.
In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council designated Richard Falk (United States of America) as the fifth Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The mandate was originally established in 1993 by the UN Commission on Human Rights.
Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/countries/ps/mandate/index.htm
OHCHR Country Page – Occupied Palestinian Territories: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/PSIndex.aspx
OHCHR Country Page – Israel: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/ILIndex.aspx
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