After being temporarily discharged by the authorities -- for fifteen days in May , during which time he ceased his hunger strike and was provided with the all the medical care required -- he was returned to prison, where he resumed his hunger strike; but this time the authorities refused to consider any further temporary release. They instead upheld the principle -- given legal force in Article 92 of the Swiss penal code -- that prison sentences should be served without interruption, except in exceptional circumstances. Rappaz was allowed to exhaust all the avenues of legal appeal against this decision, and several doctors were consulted by the penal authorities on this matter.
Rappaz, in detention, continued to receive constant medical supervision -- whether in his cell, or in hospital.
‘An Experience Much Worse Than Rape': The Force-Feeding of the Price Sisters, - HTTP
When his hunger strike had finally weakened him to the extent that he was at risk of death, and he had been informed by qualified professionals of all the medical consequences of his hunger strike, the decision was made at the beginning of November to feed him, despite the opposition to force-feeding that had been expressed by several doctors. On 24 December , he ended his hunger strike. Unlike other cases of force-feeding, where the rights of petitioners "not to be subjected to cruel or inhuman and degrading treatment" had been found to have been violated, the Swiss ruling found that the decision to feed Rappaz forcibly had been made in response to an immediate threat to his life, solely to satisfy a clear medical necessity and not to maintain discipline, or to break the will of the prisoner, or any other non-medical reason.
Moreover, they ruled, the medical means to save his life did not inflict unnecessary or disproportionate suffering. Currently, Israeli authorities entrusted with the detention of potential or actual murderers belonging to terror groups whose ultimate aim is Israel's destruction, have recently been faced with same painful "Cat and Mouse" decision as European countries: whether to allow hunger strikers to fast to death, give in to their demands, or force-feed them.
Israel has the benefit of being able to refer to the ECtHR rulings. The rulings apply both in cases of prisoners convicted in regular criminal proceedings, and also in cases of security detainees against whom it is judged not yet advisable to present evidence, in order not to jeopardise intelligence contacts. There are plenty of arguments that can and should be used to defend Israel from any unjust attacks directed against it regarding its treatment of hunger strikers. It is also important to refer to the provisions many fellow democracies have on their statute books concerning the membership of proscribed groups and the criteria for proscribing them.
In the case of more illiberal democracies like France -- which allows for the banning of groups rightly or wrongly deemed racist, as well as having specific statutes that punish severely its equivalent of "criminal conspiracy" "association de malfaiteurs" where terrorism is involved -- they are more wide-ranging than those applied in Israel. Paul Leslie is an independent journalist living in London.
He has degrees from Exeter College, Oxford University and the Sorbonne, where he received a doctorate.
A History of Force Feeding
The article also discusses the conflicting principles involved, and gives examples of the policies adopted by the governments of various democratic states to tackle the challenges of politically motivated hunger strikes. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute. Get Free Exclusive Gatestone Content: receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free gatestone institute mailing list.
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Get Free Exclusive Gatestone Content:. India: Modi's Welcome Move on Kashmir. Top Issues Europe's Migrant Crisis. This was most obviously the case from when some suffragettes turned to the hunger strike. In adopting that tactic these women purposefully endangered their health.
In turn in September , the state, the prison system, and their employees — in practice the prison medical officers, assisted by other staff — began to force-feed the striking suffragettes. Collectively, the authorities presented this response as necessary to preserve health and, crucially, life, successfully defending their actions on these grounds in the courts.
Of course, force-feeding also limited the effectiveness of the protest in that it allowed the authorities to sustain suffragette prisoners in a state of health that facilitated their continued incarceration, at least in the short term. Despite the decision of the courts, the suffragettes gained some advantage from their force-feeding by presenting the process as cruel, as a form of assault. What, however, if a suffragette began to vomit in the aftermath of force-feeding, mitigating the sustaining effects?
How was this interpreted? Was the vomiting understood as a consequence of the force-feeding itself? If so, what did this say about the constitution of the prisoner and the immediate prospects for her safety?
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What did it say about the process or for the competence of the doctor? Alternatively, what if the vomiting was a deliberate response of the suffragette? How was this being achieved, could it be stopped, and by what means? Mary Leigh, c. Mary Leigh, who was then among a group of suffragettes at Winson Green prison, Birmingham, began a hunger strike on 22 September From 2 October, when Leigh resisted the use of a feeding-cup, Hasler Helby switched to the consistent use of a nasal tube. Subsequently, Hasler Helby ascribed this turn of events to his having substituted olive oil for glycerine as a lubricant for the tube.
Despite his suspicion, Hasler Helby responded by reducing the quantity given with each feeding. On the day after this report, he would provide a legal affidavit in preparation for such a case. If, in , there was some room for debate about the extent to which Leigh was responsible for her vomiting then, in , the cases of Grace Roe and Nellie Hall  were somewhat more clear-cut.
Four days earlier, after an appearance at Marylebone Police Court of Roe and another suffragette, Nellie Hall, a small tube of similar tablets and another note had been found and retained by the authorities. It seems that some tablets made it through on that occasion because in the aftermath Roe, but especially Hall, began to vomit considerable amounts. This led to the immediate banning of visits by Marhsall and Barnett to the prisoners at Holloway and the prosecution and conviction of Barnett on 13 June under the Prisons Act for his attempts to smuggle in both the note and the drugs.
Instead, they believed, that it would show the public, once again, that it was the suffragettes who deliberately imperiled their own health. In particular, the prosecuting counsel Archibald Bodkin took advantage of the case to refute allegations in the WSPU newspaper, The Suffragette , that suffragette prisoners were being given hypnotic drugs so as to make them more amenable to force-feeding. Instead, he insisted, this case proved that it was the prisoners themselves who were taking drugs that might endanger their health. This would not alone have frustrated the authorities — a pleasing consequence from their point of view — but it would have hastened an end to the trauma and dangers of force-feeding for Roe and Hall.
If the suffragettes believed they were being given hypnotic drugs, the emetics would have had the further effect, from their point of view, of expelling those drugs from their systems.
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