Palestinian Prisoner on Hunger Strike Slips into Coma


A Palestinian prisoner, who has been on hunger strike for the past 60 days, has now entered into a state of coma, his lawyer said on Friday.

Mohammed Allaan stopped eating in June to protest against being held by Israeli authorities without charge.

Israeli authorities have transferred Allaan from one hospital to another after they struggled to find a medic who would feed or examine the prisoner without his will.

Medics at Barzilai Medical Centre, where he is now in, have also refused to force-feed him but were injecting his body with supplements essential for his survival.

“Mohammed slipped into a coma last night,” his lawyer Jamil el-Khatib told Al Jazeera on Friday. “He is on mechanical respiratory support now,” he said.

Allaan’s mother is at the hospital along with a few activists, but no one is allowed to see him.

The Red Cross last week warned that Allaan’s life is in immediate danger, and called upon Israeli authorities to allow his mother to visit him in hospital.

Allaan was arrested in November 2014 and placed under administrative detention for two six-month periods.

He has been on hunger strike to protest his administrative detention, a controversial measure that allows Israel to detain suspects without charge for long periods.

There were fears by human rights organizations that he would be force-fed after Israel’s parliament last month passed into law the ability to force-feed prisoners on hunger strike.

Israeli group Physician for Human Rights said the government’s sanctioning of force-feeding “pushes the medical community to severely violate medical ethics for political gains, as was done in other dark regimes in history”.

The UN labelled hunger strikes “a fundamental human right”.