RAMALLAH, � On his eighth day of hunger strike, the health condition of Palestinian prisoner, Marwan al-Barghouti, has severally deteriorated, said the strikers Media Committee of Freedom and Dignity.
Prisoners from all Palestinian political factions are participating in a mass open-ended hunger strike spearheaded by Marwan Barghouti, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and Fatah Central Committee, as well as Karim Younis and Maher Younis, the oldest and longest serving detainees held since 1983, and Diaa al-Agha, held since before the signing of the 1993 Oslo accords.
The media committee said that al-Barghouti refuses medical treatment.
The number of Palestinian prisoners who have joined the hunger strike, which was launched on Monday April 17, to demand better prison conditions and treatment, has reached 1580. Issa Qaraqe, chairman of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission, said the number of prisoners joining the hunger strike is expected to increase.
The media committee said the strikers aim at restoring many of their rights that were taken away by the occupation prisons administration, which they had achieved through many past strikes.
The prisoners are demanding to be moved to prisons in the occupied territories as per the Fourth Geneva Convention, which would make it easier for their families to visit them, as well as lifting restrictions on family visits and better treatment at military checkpoints.
Other demands include: An improvement of access to medical care; increasing visit duration from 45 to 90 minutes; families of women prisoners meet without glass barriers to allow mothers to hold their children; an improvement in detention conditions including easing restrictions on the entry of books, clothing, food and other gifts from family members; restoring some educational facilities; and installing phones to enable prisoners to communicate with their families.
Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency