On Thursday, October 8, one day after being transferred to solitary confinement in the Eshel Prison and having his cell phone confiscated with no explanation or reason given, Meir Ettinger, an administrative detainee, started a hunger strike.
Eviatar Slonim, also an administrative detainee, was also transferred on October 7 to solitary confinement in the Eshel Prison. The transfer of a third administrative detainee, Mordechai Meyer, was prevented at the last moment by a petition filed by Honenu attorney Adi Kedar and a ruling from the Central District Court ordering a delay in carrying out the decision.
On Thursday, October 8, attorney Sima Kochav visited Ettinger and Slonim on behalf of Honenu and reported that Ettinger informed her that he will continue his hunger strike until he is allowed to speak to his wife. The Prison Service is allowing Slonim to speak to members of his family only.
According to Kochav officials in the Prison Service are refusing to justify their reasons for transferring Ettinger and Slonim to solitary confinement in the Eshel Prison and stated that it was an order from the Intelligence Division of the Prison Service.
Until the transfer, they had been held in open wings, specifically open wings designated for religious prisoners, Ettinger in the Ayalon Prison and Slonim the Ela Prison, by order of an administrative order signed by the Defense Minister.
It is important to note that according to directives an administrative detainee must be held under the best conditions available in the Prison Service, in light of the fact that he has not been convicted of any violation.
“We regard with severity the harsher conditions under which the administrative detainees have been placed, especially when no cause or justification has been given. This is an unreasonable, disproportionate and illegal step,” said Kochav.
On Monday, October 12, a deliberation will take place at the Central District Court on the urgent petition filed by Honenu attorney Adi Kedar on Ettinger’s case. According to Kedar, Ettinger’s transfer to Eshel Prison is illegal because the regulations for incarcerating administrative detainees stipulate that an administrative detainee be held only in the prison specified by the Defense Minister in the order which he signed. The Prison Service does not have the authority to transfer administrative detainees between prisons and definitely not to increase the severity of their conditions.
Concerning the case of Mordechai Meyer, who was not transferred, a deliberation will take place on Sunday, October 11. A deliberation on Slonim’s case is scheduled for one month’s time at the Be’er Sheva District Court with Judge Gad Gideon presiding. Unlike Central District Court Judge Avraham Tal, who ruled on Meyer’s and Ettinger’s cases and ordered that they not be transferred, Judge Gideon did not take into consideration the severe violation of the rights of a detainee.
Ettinger was transferred to the Eshel Prison despite Judge Tal’s ruling.
Honenu is representing the three administrative detainees and stated that: “The conduct of the Prison Service is completely illegal. At a time when the Intifada is raging and imprisoned Arab terrorists are celebrating with cell phones and extravagant meals, the Prison Service is wielding an iron fist against Jewish administrative detainees who have not been convicted of anything. We hope that the court will order the cancellation of the transfer of the detainees to solitary confinement. We demand that those responsible for the serious violation of the rights of administrative detainees be penalized to the full extent of the law.”