UN official 'deeply concerned' about health of detained Palestinian hunger striker

20 August 2016

A senior United Nations official today expressed a deep concern about the deteriorating health of a Palestinian detainee on hunger strike for more than two months in protest of his detention after completing a 14.5-year prison sentence.

“I am deeply concerned about the deteriorating health of Bilal Kayed,” said Robert Piper, UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance and Development Aid in the occupied Palestinian territory, in a statement on Israel's continued practice of administrative detention.

Mr. Kayed has been on hunger strike for 67 days after being placed on administrative detention by Israeli authorities on the day of his scheduled release from imprisonment.

“This is an egregious case,” Mr. Piper said.

According to the statement, six other detainees, including journalist Omar Nazzal, are also on hunger strike in protest of their administrative detention and prolonged solitary confinement, and a further 100 Palestinians in prisons across Israel have undertaken hunger strikes in solidarity.

“The number of administrative detainees is at an eight-year high,” said Mr. Piper, reiterating the UN's long-standing position that all administrative detainees – Palestinian or Israeli - should be charged or released without delay.

 

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