Name: Mohammad Nasraldeen Allan
Date of birth: 5/8/1984
Date of hunger strike: 16/6/2015
Place of detention: Barzilai hospital
Education: Bachelor’s degree in law from the Arab American University – Jenin
“Administrative detention returns us to slavery, and therefore I refuse to be a slave to anyone. The truth is that I currently prefer hunger as long as freedom is the goal in the absence of law in Israeli courts. So, I found myself forced to fight this battle.”
Mohammad Allan’s message through his attorney
On the 6th of November 2014, about 30 Israeli occupation soldiers raided and searched the home of detainee Mohammad Allan in Einabous near Nablus. After identifying Mohammad, the soldiers shackled his hands and took him to his law office in Nablus city. They ransacked the office and went through the papers and legal files. He was then taken to an unknown destination. His family later knew about the arrest and that he was taken to Megiddo prison.
Mohammad was arrested for the first time in 2006 where he received a three-year sentence. In 2011, he was detained and interrogated for 50 days. The current detention began initially with a six-month administrative detention order. Mohammad declared an open hunger strike in Naqab prison after his administrative detention order was renewed for six additional months. As a result his hunger strike he was transferred to Ela prison in Beersheba and placed in isolation. He was later transferred to Eshel prison and then to Ramleh prison hospital. After a severe deterioration in his health condition, he was transferred to the intensive care unit in Soroka Hospital. On 10/8/2015 he was transferred to Barzilai hospital in the south of occupied Palestine.
Legal status: The IOF issued a six-month administrative detention order against Mohammad Allan on 11/11/2014 claiming that he constitutes a threat to the security of the area and is an activist in the Islamic Jihad, which is an illegal organization according to the Israeli occupation’s military orders. Allan was not interrogated and he was not presented with a clear charge; he received an administrative detention order based on a secret file that was only viewed by the military judge who claimed that the secret information clearly indicates that the detainee poses a danger. The judge also claimed that the secret file was not solely based on analysis or estimations only, but it was also based on specific material and data. This raises the question of why Allan was not interrogated and presented with the information, and why he was not given the opportunity to respond to these accusations.
The military commander renewed Allan’s administrative detention order for six additional months which started on 5/5/2015 and ending on 4/11/2015. Again, during the tp confirm the detention order the judge claimed having information that indicates Allan imposes a threat without clarifying the nature of these accusations. The judge based his claims on the detainee’s past and previous arrest where Allan was accused of affiliation and activity in the Islamic Jihad – he had been imprisoned for three years and released in 2009.
The appeal that was filed against the order confirmation was denied. Allan did not attend his trial in the military court that reviewed the administrative detention orders or in the court of appeal because he is reportedly convinced that the role of the court and the military judge regarding administrative detention files is a formality and does not affect the decision of the Israeli intelligence agency.
Mohammad Allan’s case exemplifies the use of administrative detention policy as a tool of punishment in the absence of clear evidence regarding committing a specific action. It also highlights the use of a detainee’s past against him/her for the sake of imprisonment. These practices gravely violate International Humanitarian Law because administrative detention should be used only as a precautionary detention to prevent future threats not as a punishment for a previously committed act.
The High Court of the occupation denied the petition that was filed by Allan’s lawyer on 4/8/2015 requesting Allan’s release without due regard to his critical health condition, and despite his open hunger strike and that fact that he is not taking supplements or salt.
Hunger strike and health condition
Mr. Allan announced an open hunger strike in Naqab prison after the renewal of his administrative detention order for six additional months. As a result of launching an open hunger strike he was transferred to Ela isolation in Beersheba. After being transferred to Eshel prison, he was subsequently transferred to Ramleh prison hospital. Thereafter, following deterioration of his health, he was then transferred to the intensive care unit of Soroka Hospital. On 10/8/2015 he was transferred to Barzilai hospital, where he is currently being held.
Allan reported to Addameer lawyer Samer Samaan who visited him in Barzilai Hospital on 12/8/2015 that he is gradually losing vision which has prevented him from signing some papers, and that he is hearing loud noises causing him to lose the ability to sleep. Allan expressed that he is feeling extreme weakness in his arms and legs. He loses balance immediately upon moving. He cannot go to the bathroom and he suffers from numbness in his hands and feet. He also suffers from pain throughout his body. Despite all of that he has stated that he intends to continue with the hunger strike.
On Friday, 7 August the Israeli prison services announced to Allan's lawyer that they are planning to submit a request to the Israeli District Court to authorize force-feeding him as provided for under the notorious and recently legislated force-feeding law. A day later, Gilad Erdan, the minister of public security affairs declared that they are not planning on implementing the force-feeding law on Allan yet, and that he would be treated according to the Israeli Patient's Rights Act. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) has confirmed that the ethical committee of the Soroka hospital has authorized forced examinations on Allan, yet the medical staff of Soroka hospital have stood firm and refused any act of coercion on their patient Allan.
In response to that, the IPS has declared that they are about to transfer Allan to a hospital that would be willing to force-feed him. Indeed and despite his grave health condition, he has been transferred to Brazilia hospital on the 10th of August. The director of Brazilai has stated to the press that they would be acting in accordance with the Patient’s Rights Act in treating Allan and that they hope he would be willing to accept medical intervention while he is held there.
Allan lost consciousness on the 14th of August 2015 after 59 days of hunger strike. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association learned from Mohammad Allan’s mother and his lawyer Jamil Khatib that his health condition had severely deteriorated the previous night and that he lost consciousness at approximately 9:00 am. The doctors informed Mr. Allan’s mother that he suffered from constant shivering, lost the ability to breathe and then lost consciousness. As a result of the extreme and dangerous health deterioration the doctors had to use mechanical ventilation and provide him with salts administered intravenously. Allan’s health condition is still unstable and his life is in grave danger.
It should be mentioned that the former Palestinian Health Minister Hani Abdeen and the Knesset member Ahmad Tibi were prevented from visiting Mr. Allan on 16/8/2015. They had planned to carry out a medical check-up, and their visit had been coordinated with the prison service and the hospital.
Force-feeding under international law
The force-feeding law has not yet been applied. However, any medical coercion on Allan despite his refusal is a grave violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Such coercion constitutes an immoral and unacceptable act that violates the detainee’s freedom and dignity. Additionally, it may cause the opposite effect and result in severe health problems and even potentially jeopardize his life, as evident in Israel’s previous attempts to force-feed Palestinian hunger strikers during the 1980s which resulted in several deaths.
Force-feeding violates medical ethics as it administers forceful treatment to a patient against his will, and is considered a form of torture. In addition ,force-feeding causes physical and psychological pain and is a cruel degrading inhumane treatment that amounts to torture which is forbidden according to the international law, specifically in the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is opposed to force-feeding or forced treatment, and stresses the importance of respecting the choices and preserving the dignity of detainees. The World Medical Association (WMA) adopts a similar position to that of the ICRC as expressed in the 2006 revision of the Tokyo and Malta Declarations. The Malta Declaration which was adopted by the World Health Organization states:
“Any decisions lack moral force if made involuntarily by use of threats, peer pressure or coercion. Hunger strikers should not be forcibly given treatment they refuse. Forced feeding contrary to an informed and voluntary refusal is unjustifiable. Artificial feeding with the hunger strikers’ explicit or implied consent is ethically acceptable… Forcible feeding is never ethically acceptable. Even if intended to benefit, feeding accompanied by threats, coercion, force or use of physical restraints is a form of inhuman and degrading treatment. Equally unacceptable is the forced feeding of some detainees in order to intimidate or coerce other hunger strikers to stop fasting.”