PRISON STORIES: Hassan Shokeh

 Hassan Shokeh, before hunger strike

Hassan Shokeh, before hunger strike

Hassan Shokeh is 30 years old, but has spent 10 of those years in prison, 8 of them in detention without charge.

Hassan is a journalist, which makes him dangerous.

Truth is the enemy of Israel, which explains its history of assassinating, exiling, and imprisoning Palestinian writers and poets who expose Israel’s crimes.

Hassan Shokeh went on a hunger strike to protest the injustice of his most recent administrative detention.

Administrative detention – a tactic which Israel uses frequently – involves incarceration of people who have not been convicted or even charged, based on “secret evidence” that they “plan to” break the law at some point in the future.  

Hundreds of Palestinians are held in these circumstances on any given day, not knowing what they are accused of (and thus how to defend themselves) or when they will be released. Detention can last up to 6 months, but then can be extended indefinitely, 6 months at a time – again, without charge.

Hassan Shokeh’s hunger strike has lasted more than 55 days; his father reports that he has lost 66 pounds. His family has not been allowed to see him since he began the strike.

When Hassan’s hunger strike caused his health to deteriorate, he was transferred to a hospital. His Israeli jailers shackled his hands and legs to the hospital bed.

He requested to be released due to the condition of his health, but the hearing to consider his request was postponed.

Shokeh is just 1 of nearly 450 administrative detainees in Israeli prisons; 2 are children. According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 9, their detention is illegal.

This is just another in a long list of human rights abuses that Israel perpetrates against the Palestinian people on a daily basis, without repercussions of any kind.