Day #8 (40acts): Give up your holiday. Today’s challenge is to give up a day of holiday and give your time to a Christian organisation around Easter. It just so happens that later this month the Europe and Middle East Section of Friends World Committee for Consultation, the organisation that connects Quakers in our region, has an executive committee meeting in Cambridge. And, by some quirky coincidence, I’m a member of the executive. Further, the meeting is for 3 days and I will need to use a day’s leave to attend the meeting. Job’s a good ‘un.
Day #8 (action): Today I wrote to my MP, Joan Ruddock, about Hana Al-Shalabi, a 29-year-old woman from Burqin village near Jenin. She has been on hunger strike for around 2 weeks to protest against her second administrative detention by Israel. The first time she was arrested and detained on 14/09/2009 and released on 18/10/2010 as part of the Shalit’s swap deal, when 1,027 Palestinian prisoners were released. On 16/02/2012 she was re-arrested and ordered to be detained under administrative detention without trial for another 6 months.
Addameer, Palestinian Prisoners Rights advocates, have been monitoring the detention and treatment of Hana Al-Shalabi at the HaSharon prison where she is currently held. Addameer reports that Hana has been subjected to sexual harassment, solitary confinement and abuse in a small cell with poor hygenie and limited access to clean clothes and natural sunlight. She is being denied adequate legal representation following the decline of her appeal against her administrative detention order and harsh treatment. She is being held without charge or trial, all suspicions towards her are held back as ‘secret information’ or remain vague, leaving her without legitimate means to defend herself.
Hana Al-Shalabi is one of 309 prisoners held under administrative detention by Israel. This breaches international rights under Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which states that no person should be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. I asked Joan to write to the foreign secretary about administrative detention.