Israel (Tasnim) – Some 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel launched a mass hunger strike on Monday to press for basic rights and shed light on the difficult humanitarian conditions inside Israeli prisons. The open-ended hunger strike, one of the…
Azeri rights advocate Morteza Moradpour has been hospitalized in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, while he recovers from the 65-day hunger strike that led to his conditional release from prison. However, his legal battle is far from over because his release order requires him to report back to prison every night.
“The decision by the Tabriz judicial officials to release Morteza under Article 7 occurred because they wanted to show that they had not surrendered to his legitimate demands and didn’t care about his hunger strike,” his brother, Fardin Moradpour, told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Morteza Moradpour was conditionally released on December 29, 2016 under Article 7 of Iran’s Prison Organization’s Procedural Regulations, which is normally applied to prisoners who have been authorized to work outside of prison in the day as long as they return to prison every night.
After spending nearly 14 and a half years in an Israeli prison for his affiliation with the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Bilal Kayed was due to be released on 13 June – but he wasn’t.
Instead, on that day, Bilal was told that he would be held in administrative detention, which amounts to imprisonment without charge or trial.
Kayed’s detention was to last six months, with the possibility of renewal for an indefinite period of time.
Two days later, on 15 June, he began a hunger strike in protest of his continued imprisonment.
The military court ruled that, based on secret evidence gathered about his activities before his initial arrest and his intentions upon release he continued to pose a threat to Israel’s security.
Between July 6 and July 15, 2016, nine people at the University of Tolima, Colombia — students, professors and staff members — organized a hunger strike to protest the serious administrative, financial, democratic, and leadership crisis occurring at this higher education institution, for which they held the Dean José Herman Muñoz Ñungo directly responsible.
The group initiated the strike after having exhausted all proper channels of negotiation. Among other things, their demands included the dean’s response to a list of 21 questions and his resignation. Not only was the dean reluctant to leave his position and respond to the questions, but the University Governing Board also kept silent, prolonging the hunger strike up to nine days.
47 Hunger Strikers May Be Freed
Egyptian courts have sentenced more than 150 people to prison terms since the beginning of May 2016 for participating in peaceful protests or spreading false information. On May 24, an appeals court replaced the prison sentences for 47 who had started hunger strikes, with a fine of 100,000 L.E ($11,270 USD) each which they have to pay before being released.
The authorities should free and drop charges against them and release hundreds of other activists and protesters in pretrial detention on charges that violate freedom of peaceful assembly and speech.
“Egyptian authorities are using national security threats to crush dissent among Egypt’s youth,” said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “This is a policy of insecurity, not security, leaving young people unable find the smallest space for peaceful dissent that won’t land them in jail.”