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1500 Palestinian prisoners launch largest collective hunger strike in years: Take action in support!

20 Apr

Take Action | Demands of the Strike

Over 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners have announced they will launch a collective hunger strike today, Monday, 17 April, on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2017. The strike, which will come under the slogan “Freedom and Dignity,” highlights a number of key demands of the Palestinian prisoners, including family visits, appropriate medical care, ending abusive conditions and stopping the use of solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. As the strike begins, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges supporters of justice around the world to take action to support the Palestinian prisoners whose bodies and lives are on the line for freedom and dignity.

Palestinian prisoners from across political lines announced they would participate in and support the strike, especially in Hadarim, Gilboa, and Nafha prisons. Prisoners in Beersheva, Ashkelon and Ramon prisons will also launch their participation in the strike today, with more to come in the future, Ma’an News reported. The strike’s demands were announced by Fateh prisoners with imprisoned Fateh Central Committee member and prominent political leader Marwan Barghouthi serving as the spokesperson for the strike. A statement by Barghouthi highlighting the strike’s causes was published in the New York Times on 16 April.

“Israel’s prisons have become the cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination. This new hunger strike will demonstrate once more that the prisoners’ movement is the compass that guides our struggle, the struggle for Freedom and Dignity, the name we have chosen for this new step in our long walk to freedom,” wrote Barghouthi.

Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, known for his denunciation of hunger strikers as “terrorists,” has threatened to move all Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike to the Negev desert prison and establish a “field hospital” to deny the prisoners access to medical care in civilian hospitals – and potentially threaten them with force feeding. Indeed, the Israeli Prison Service announced “punitive measures” against 700 Palestinian prisoners who began the open hunger strike on the evening of 16 April, declaring that “the strike and other protest activities are illegal and will be dealt with firmly.”

As the strike begins, Israeli jails hold approximately 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners. This number includes nearly 60 women and 300 children. Nearly 600 are imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention, while over 1,000 are sick and require medical treatment.

This is the largest collective hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners since 2012 and before that, 2004, when mass hunger strikes united thousands of Palestinian prisoners for key demands, many of which were achieved in those strikes yet have come under repeated and sustained attack. There is a lengthy history of collective hunger strikes in Israeli jails organized by the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, stretching back decades.

While the strike was announced by Fateh prisoners with Barghouthi as their spokesperson, prisoners from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hamas, the People’s Party and others have declared participation in the strike, especially in prisons like Hadarim, Gilboa and Nafha, where there is nearly unanimous participation in the strike among political prisoners. Perhaps the last mass strike which saw such broad participation was the 2014 administrative detainees’ hunger strike which involved all of those Palestinians held without charge or trial – at the time, a number below 200.

In Barghouthi’s piece, he urged international solidarity, noting the support of South African former prisoners of the anti-apartheid struggle for Palestinian prisoners. “Israel is not the first occupying or colonial power to resort to such expedients. Every national liberation movement in history can recall similar practices. This is why so many people who have fought against oppression, colonialism and apartheid stand with us.” Fateh prisoners also emphasized the importance of support for the strike, noting that it was “urgent” that their cause becomes an Arab and an international one, instead of only being supported on the local and national level.

The Prison Branch of the PFLP also highlighted the importance of Palestinian support and international solidarity: “we call on all the Palestinian people and their supporters and friends around the world to stand side by side with the prisoners in their continuing battles inside the prisons, escalating the mass movement to support the battle of wills, challenge and confrontation, and to once again reaffirm the centrality of the cause of the prisoners.”

As 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners launch their hunger strike, we urge all supporters of Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian people to urgently take action and join in the campaign of solidarity to achieve their demands.
Take action:

1) Organize or join an event as part of the Week of Action for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day in support of the hunger strikers. Protest outside your local Israeli embassy, consulate or mission, or at a public square or government building. You can drop a banner or put up a table to support the prisoners and their strike. See the list of current international events here, and add your own: http://samidoun.net/2017/04/schedule-of-events-actions-around-the-world-for-palestinian-prisoners-day-2017-week-of-action/

2) Join the social media campaign to support Palestinian prisoners. Take a picture of yourself or send a graphic with the hashtags below. Post on your own Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and share with the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/225669854578279/ Slogans via Addameer:
Palestinian Human Rights Defenders are #NotATarget #PalestinianPrisonersDay
Palestinian children are #NotATarget #PalestinianPrisonersDay
Stop Administrative Detention #StopAD
Freedom for Palestinian Political Prisoners #April17 #PrisonersDay
I stand in solidarity with Palestinian Political Prisoners #PrisonersDay

3) Write letters and make phone calls to protest the violation of the rights of Palestinian political prisoners and urge your government officials to pressure Israel to accept the demands of the Palestinian political prisoners.

4) Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Join the BDS Movement to highlight the complicity of corporations like Hewlett-Packard and the continuing involvement of G4S in Israeli policing and prisons. Build a campaign to boycott Israeli goods, impose a military embargo on Israel, or organize around the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

Materials to support your events and organizing are available for download here: http://samidoun.net/2017/03/call-to-organize-palestinian-prisoners-week-of-action-14-to-24-april-2017/ Please contact samidoun@samidoun.net or reach out to us on Facebook for questions or to share your actions.
Demands of the Strikers

The demands of the strike:

1) Installation of a public telephone in each prison and section for Palestinian prisoners to communicate with their loved ones.

2) Family Visits

A) Resume the second monthly visit, which was cut by the International Committee of the Red Cross
B) Regular visits every two weeks without cancellation or interference
C) No prevention of visits by relatives of the “first and second class”
D) Increase the duration of visits from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours
E) Allow photography with parents every three months
F) Facilities for the comfort of prisoners’ parents at the prison entrance
G) Children and grandchildren under the age of 16 allowed visitation at each visit

3) Medical Care

A) Close the so-called “Ramle prison hospital,” as it is unfit for necessary treatment
B) End of the policy of medical neglect against prisoners
C) Regular, scheduled periodic medical examinations
D) Surgical procedures received quickly and without delay
E) Introduction of specialist doctors from outside the prison system
F) Release of sick prisoners, especially those with disabilities and terminal illnesses
G) No transfer of the cost of treatment to prisoners and their families

4) Respond to the needs and demands of the Palestinian women prisoners for private transportation and direct visits with their family members without barriers

5) “Bosta” and Transportation

A) Secure the humane treatment of prisoners during transportation and movement
B) Prisoners must be returned to prisons, clinics and courts and not kept at crossing points for lengthy periods.
C) Rehabilitation of these crossing points to make them fit for human use, including providing meals

6) Access to satellite channels tailored to the needs of prisoners

7) Installation of a cooling system in prisons, especially Megiddo and Gilboa

8) Reform kitchens for all prisons and put them entirely under the supervision of Palestinian prisoners

9) Introduction of books, newspapers, clothing, food and other gifts for prisoners from their families during visits

10) Ending the policy of solitary confinement

11) Ending the policy of administrative detention

12) Re-introducing access to education via the Open Hebrew University

13) Allow the prisoners to provide high school (tawjihi) examinations under officially agreed-upon guidelines

Take Action: 13-15 January – Days of Action to Free Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian Prisoners

6 Jan

bandeau-saadat-samidoun

We invite your organizations, groups and coalition to endorse this call to action and participate in the events of January 13-15, 2017. Thank you! Please use the form or email samidoun@samidoun.net to sign on.

Scheduled Events | Materials and Resources

January 13-15, 2017 marks the 15th anniversary of the seizure of Palestinian political leader, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Sa’adat, by the Palestinian Authority under the policy of “security cooperation,” at the behest of Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom. Today, after a 2006 attack on the Jericho prison by Israeli occupation forces, Sa’adat is serving a 30-year sentence in occupation prisons, convicted in a military court of leading a prohibited organization and incitement.

Ahmad Sa’adat is a leader of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and a leader of the Palestinian national liberation movement, held behind bars with 7,000 fellow leaders of the Palestinian people. There are thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, on the front line of the struggle for freedom. In the past year, over 6,000 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli occupation forces. These Palestinian political prisoners are the leaders of resistance to occupation, targeted for their role in refusing racism, colonialism, apartheid and occupation.

The imprisonment of Ahmad Sa’adat and his fellow Palestinian political prisoners is aided and assisted by the complicity of international states and major corporations. The United States and United Kingdom guarded Sa’adat in a Palestinian Authority prison and cleared the way for an Israeli attack, ensuring Sa’adat and his comrades came under fire. And the political, military and economic support these and other states, including the European Union and Canada, provide to the Israeli occupation allows the continued imprisonment and extrajudicial execution of Palestinians with impunity. Further, corporations like Hewlett Packard (HP) profit from the imprisonment of Palestinians by selling their services to the Israeli Prison Service.

On January 13-15, 2017, we join in a collective call for international action for the freedom of Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian political prisoners. We demand an end to the internationally-mandated policy of Palestinian Authority “security coordination” that undermines the Palestinian struggle for freedom. And we urge the escalation of the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against the Israeli state and complicit institutions and corporations, including HP, to create, as Sa’adat said, “a real economic cost for the industries of colonization.”

We echo the call to organize events, actions and protests in cities, town squares, campuses and public spaces to break the isolation of the prisoners, and demand freedom now for Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian political prisoners.

Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Handala Center for Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners
Palestinian Prisoners’ Committee
Coup Pour Coup 31
International Red Aid / Secours Rouge International
Collectif pour la Libération de Georges Ibrahim Abdallah – Paris

Events are already being scheduled in New York City, Albuquerque, Brussels, Berlin, Manchester, Italy and elsewhere. Please share your event with us or email samidoun@samidoun.net.

To join the call, please email samidoun@samidoun.net or sign on to the form. This call is open to organizational endorsements.

Original Call from the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat: Read in English | Arabic | French | Italian

Scheduled Events:

New York City – Friday, January 13, Protest to Free Ahmad Sa’adat and Stop HP! 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm, Best Buy Union Square (53 E. 14th St.) , NYC. Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/362798944095466/. Organized by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

Albuquerque – Friday, January 13, Free Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian Prisoners. 6:00 pm, SouthWest Organizing Project, 211 10th St SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1917752155121856/. Organized by Irish Americans for Socialism and Liberation

Brussels – Friday, January 13. Further details TBA. Organized by Secours Rouge and Samidoun.

Italy – Friday, January 13 through Sunday, January 15. Specific events TBA. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1739069739753137/

Manchester – Saturday, January 14. Boycott Barclays Protest! 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1279998228726828/. Organized by Manchester Boycott Israel Group

Berlin – Sunday, January 15. Palestinian Contingent in the Liebknecht-Luxemburg-Lenin March. 10:00 am, gather at U-Bahnhof Frankfurter Tor. Organized by the Democratic Palestine Committees-Berlin.

Khalida Jarrar freed – Palestinian leftist leader calls for action to liberate Palestinian prisoners

4 Jun

Palestinian leftist legislator, feminist, and prisoners’ advocate Khalida Jarrar was released after 14 months in Israeli prison on Friday, 3 June, where she was met by a crowd of supporters at the Jubara checkpoint near Tulkarem.

khalida-free

Release Khalida Jarrar NOW

20 Aug

Manifestation for the Immediate Release of Khalida Jarrar

Monday August 24, 2015, from 11 – 15, Nytorv – in the Center of Copenhagen

Khalida Jarrar is a Palestinian member of parliament for PFLP (the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), human rights advocate and political activist. The Israeli authorities have held Khalida Jarrar arrested since April 2015. Her trial has 3 times been postponed. Now her trial at the Israeli military court is supposed to take place on Monday August 24. Khalida Jarrar is – among other things – accused of belonging to a ‘terror organization’. The Israeli authorities try to silence Khalida Jarrar and alle Palestinians who resist the occupation – among others by imprisoning them. There are more than 8.000 political Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
We . Internationalt Forum/the Middle East Group – consider Israel a terror state. Zionism, which stands behind the state of Israel, is part of Imperialism. That is why Israel is not punished by the US- and EU- imperialism for its crimes against the Palestinians.

Together we must fight Zionism and Imperialism and support the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people.

Free Khalida Jarrar and all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails – Boycott Israel – Free Palestine

Report from the Conference ”Free All Political Prisoners of the World”

23 Oct

Copenhagen, October 22 – 24, 2010

The conference had 150 – 200 participants from: Iran, Palestina, Lebanon, Turkey, Kurdistan, Mexico, Colombia, USA, the Basque Country, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, England, France and Denmark. Continue reading