Palestinian detainee Maher al-Akhras on hunger strike for 77 days

Days of Palestine - Ramallah

Palestinian detainee in Israeli jails Maher al-Akhras enters today his 77th day of hunger strike in protest of his detention without a charge or trial, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

The PPS said al-Akhras was facing greater health hazards after several cases of coronavirus were discovered at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, where he is being hospitalized for a severe deterioration in his health as a result of his 77-day hunger strike.

Read More: Israel refuses to release Palestinian hunger-striker Maher Al-Akhras

According to the Society, al-Akhras’s lawyer has filed a request to the Supreme Israeli Court demanding his client’s immediate release, after several other requests by the lawyer were rejected by the court over the past few weeks.

Al-Akhras, 49, began his hunger strike after he was arrested and placed in administrative detention in late July. Administrative detention is an Israeli policy that allows it to detain Palestinians without filing charges, sometimes for months at a time with multiple extensions.

Read More: Despite 71 days of hunger strike, Israel insists on keeping Palestinian administrative detainee behind bars

The PPS said earlier this month that an Israeli offer to freeze al-Akhras’ detention instead of cancelling it was an act of deception and constituted an attempt to end his hunger strike without allowing him go immediately.

There are about 350 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons under the so-called administration detention, a policy which allows the Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians without filing a charge against them or allowing them to stand trial.

Human rights groups say administrative detention violates the right to due process, since evidence is withheld from the prisoner while they are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried or convicted.

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