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Israeli Prison Service Adopts Severe Measures to Crush the Hunger Strike in Saharonim; About 50 Asylum-Seekers Continue to Strike for 11 Days Now

The hunger strike of asylum-seekers in “Saharonim” prison has entered its 11th day, while the Israeli Prison Service is taking severe measures to end it.

The asylum-seekers were jailed at the Saharonim prison as punishment for marching to Jerusalem from Holot facility to demand an end to their open-ended detention without trial. The hunger-strikers issued a joint statement declaring that they will continue with the hunger strike until their demands are met or until they starve to death in Israeli prisons.

Besides deprivation of rights such as making phone calls, purchasing at the canteen and watching television (after the first two days), reports from Saharonim indicate that the IPS had separated the hunger strikers and isolated them in different wards. Starting the fifth day of the strike, the IPS deprived the hunger-strikers of the right to leave their cells.

In addition, four of the notable leaders of the strikes were transferred to a criminal prison near Beer Sheva. At first, they were held in solitary confinement, but on last Friday three of them reported that they are held in one cell with convicted criminals, in violation of Israeli law.

50 out of 150 asylum seekers had managed to continue their strike despite these harsh measures for 11 days now. The strikers are reporting exhaustion and great despair.