Demonstration in Hebron in Solidarity with Hana Shalabi

24 March 2012

“Freedom is more important than our lives.”

The words come from Hana Shalabi, on hunger strike for 38 days.

On Monday, March 19, 2012, there was a demonstration in Hebron in support of her and others in administrative detention.

18th of October 2009 Hana was released after more than two years in administrative detention, connected to the prison exchange (1027 Palestinians for Gilad Shalit).

16th of February this year, 50 soldiers with dogs showed up at her door, arresting her once again, without charge or further explanation.

She went on hunger strike immediately, in protest against the violent and chargeless arrest. After one week her lawyers received a court order putting her in administrative detention.

This gives the Israeli military the chance of locking someone up without charges, trial or sentence. Lawyers and arrested are not allowed to see the documents behind this decision, meaning it is not only difficult but impossible to give any defense.

They can be imprisoned for 6 months, but the court order is renewable. And there are no limits to how many times the order can be renewed, meaning the prisoner can be locked up for years.

Hana Shalabi has lost 16 kilos according to her lawyer Jawad Boulos, and her health is in a critical condition. She is now in a prison clinic in Ramleh.

In Hebron, there were many calls for the release of Hana and support for others in administrative detention. Many had brought pictures from home of their sons and fathers, not knowing when they will see them again.

Several prisoners are on hunger strike, and more are to follow, by this hoping to get an end to this inhumane practice.

More than 300 Palestinians are in administrative detention, 24 of them members of parliament.