Addameer Prisoner Support & Human Rights Organisation | April 18, 2012
Addameer Calls for Continued Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners on Mass Hunger Strike
Ramallah, 18 April 2012 – Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons launched a mass hunger strike yesterday, 17 April, on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. The call for hunger strike came amidst a wave of individual hunger strikes initiated in the past few months, and prisoners on hunger strike continue to face punishments by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS).
An estimated 1,200 Palestinian prisoners (Note: number on April 18, 2012. On April 24 est.3000
participating the strike) announced the beginning of an open hunger strike yesterday, along with approximately 2,300 who refused meals and are currently preparing for a wider campaign of disobedience. The hunger striking prisoners’ demands include: an end to the IPS’ abusive use of isolation for “security” reasons, which currently affects 19 prisoners, some of whom have spent 10 years in isolation; an end to Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial in administrative detention, under which 322 Palestinians are currently detained; a repeal of a series of punitive measures taken against Palestinian prisoners following the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, including the denial of family visits for all Gaza prisoners since 2007 and denial of access to university education since June 2011.
This collective hunger strike follows the 22-day day campaign of disobedience
, including a mass hunger strike, launched at the end of September 2011 in protest of the escalating series of punitive measures taken against Palestinian prisoners in prior months. On 18 October, prisoners put their hunger strike on hold in light of the prisoner exchange deal
concluded by Israel and Hamas. As most of the punitive measures taken by the IPS against prisoners were part of a policy aimed at collectively punishing them for the continued incarceration of Gilad Shalit, it was expected that these would be reversed with his release. At the time of the first phase of prisoner releases, the spokespersons for the prisoner’s movement made a deal with the IPS that the policy of isolation and other punitive measures would be stopped within three months if the prisoners ceased their hunger strike. Today marks six months since this agreement was made, and no policy changes have yet occurred. Prisoners have therefore re-launched their hunger strike to demand their most basic rights.
Notably, at least ten Palestinian prisoners remain on extended hunger strikes launched during and following the inspiring individual hunger strikes of Khader Adnan, who was on hunger strike for 66 days and released from administrative detention at around 11:00 pm yesterday, and Hana Shalabi, who ended her hunger strike after 43 days. Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh are currently on their 50th day of hunger strike in protest of their administrative detention. They are both being held in Ramleh Prison medical center, where their health is rapidly deteriorating. Three other administrative detainees have also been moved to Ramleh Prison medical center, including Hassan Safadi, Omar Abu Shalal and Jaafar Azzedine, on their 45th, 43rd and 28th days of hunger strike respectively. Ahmad Saqer, the currently longest-held administrative detainee, is on his 32nd day of hunger strike.
Mohammed Suleiman, Thalassemia patient, is also refusing medical treatment in protest of his administrative detention. Four additional prisoners remain on hunger strike for other reasons, including: Mohammad Taj, on his 32nd day of hunger strike demanding to be treated as a prisoner of war; Mahmoud Sarsak, moved to Ramleh Prison medical center on 16 April and on his 27th day of hunger strike in protest of being held under Israel’s Unlawful Combatants Law; Azzam Diab, on his 23rd day of hunger strike in solidarity with his brother Bilal; and Abdullah Barghouti, on his 7th day of hunger strike in protest of his ongoing isolation.
These prisoners have all been punished for their hunger strikes by being placed in solitary confinement and denied family visits. The prisoners involved in the mass hunger strike have also already begun to face punishments by the IPS. In an attempt to isolate them from the rest of the prisoners, prisoners on hunger strike in Rimon prison have been transferred to the isolation section of the prison and prisoners on hunger strike in Eshel prison have been transferred to Ohalei Keidar, where no other Palestinian political prisoners are held. Even more troubling, the IPS has made it exceedingly difficult for independent doctors to visit the hunger striking prisoners and has prevented hunger strikers from meeting with their lawyers.
Addameer particularly condemns the IPS’ efforts to ban Addameer lawyer Samer Sam’an from all prison visits following the increasing number of Palestinian prisoners engaging in hunger strike. After being frequently denied visits upon request, the deputy director of Ofer prison informed Mr. Sam’an on 10 April that he would receive an official ban on access to all prisoners. According to IPS regulations, the director of a prison can decide to ban a lawyer visit to an individual prisoner for two days, after informing that prisoner, which can then be extended by the head of the IPS for up to one year. Mr. Sam’an’s ban therefore violates even the IPS’ own regulations, as he is now effectively being banned from access to all prisoners. Addameer anticipates that the IPS will continue to use tactics employed in last fall’s hunger strike in order to systematically prevent lawyers from having access to the hunger strikers, such as moving prisoners to other prisons without informing their lawyers, in an attempt to further isolate the hunger strikers and undermine their campaign.
Addameer calls on the diplomatic community to pressure Israel to immediately allow for hunger striking prisoners to have access to necessary healthcare and legal advisement. Addameer further urges all political parties, institutions, organizations and solidarity groups working in the field of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory and abroad to support the prisoners in their hunger strike and demand that their legitimate demands be granted. Addameer will continue to closely follow the prisoner’s campaign of civil disobedience and provide regular updates on the situation as it develops.
EMOHR urges Europeans to support prisoners’ hunger striking
Al-Qassam Website: The Euro-Mediterranean Observatory for Human Rights (EMOHR) started contacting some European and international officials, within the framework of the European Campaign for the Defense of Palestinian prisoners, which was launched a few days ago, and which aims at supporting the prisoners.
EMOHR said in a statement on Sunday (22-4), that it contacted Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Nils Muižnieks, urging him to support the striking Palestinian prisoners’ demands, guaranteed in the international humanitarian law and to exercise pressure on the Israeli government, to stop its punitive policies as well as to use the Council’s influence to push the bodies concerned with the issue to support the prisoners’ demands. Read more at the website of Al Qassam Brigades
Israel violating more rights: Suppressing Hunger Strikers
April 23, 2012 | Day 7 of hungerstrike
Israel is now attacking prisoners on hungerstrike (Source) in several ways which all display the disrespect of human lives and rights. Varying from raiding cells, looting belongings (Source), putting strikers or supporters in solitary confinement, taking radios and even take away the salt which they need to not get dehydrated. Water and electricity reportedly also cut of in a bid to force hungerstrikers to end their effort (Source)
Also supporters are attacked to put pressure on the hungerstrikers to end their strike (Source) and lawyers are banned from visiting their clients. (Source) Some can not even contact their clients because IPS moved them to unknown locations (Source)
April 24, 2012 | Day 8 of hungerstrike
- In the meanwhile Israel re-arrested released prisoner Iyad Abu Funoon who had been released last october in the Shalit exchange deal. Reminder: all the released prisoners received a presidential pardon of president Peres. A presidential pardon equals an amnesty, yet many prisoners released in the exchange deal have been rearrested by now.
- Prisons administration isolated the prisoner Lina Al-Jarboni to force her to stop her hunger strike. (Source)
- 57th day of hunger strike the occupation invade the tent of support with Bilal Thayb in Kur Raai. (Source arabic)
- New: The Battle of Empty Stomachs: Khader Adnan highlights the consolation of solidarity | ISM Palestine | Apr 24, 2012
- Israeli higher court rejects appeal for release of hunger striker Hasan Safadi | PIC | Apr 24, 2012
- Khuffash: solidarity activities do not live up to captives’ suffering | PIC | Apr 24, 2012
- IPS isolates sick prisoners for joining hunger strike | PIC | Apr 24, 2012
Photo by Anne Paq – ActiveStills
April 25, 2012 | Day 9 of hungerstrike
- Palestinian history in the making: Mass hunger strike grows despite Israel’s best efforts to repress it | Electronic Intifada | Apr 25, 2012
- BBC challenged for ignoring plight of Palestinian prisoners | Electronic Intifada | Apr 25, 2012
- Khader Adnan to Hunger Strikers: Go Forth and Be Victorious | Al Akhbar English| Apr 25, 2012
- 3000 Hungerstrikers and now Palestinian female prisoners to go on hunger strike twice weekly | PIC| Apr 25, 2012
- Family of hunger striker Omar Abu Shilal fears for his life (50 days on hungerstrike & denied visits) – PIC – Apr 25, 2012
- The full letter of Ahmad Saa’dat – via @PalHunger
- Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike update – AIC News- April 25, 2012
- 207 Palestinian kids are jailed by Israel. Qais Omran, seized from his bed & abused by Israeli army, is one of them – Electronic Intifada – Apr 25, 2012
- Une grève de la faim massive des prisonniers palestiniens pour les droits les plus élémentaires – Pour La Palestine - Apr 25, 2012
- Information bulletin “Victory or Death” – Day 9, Apr 25, 2012 (Arabic)
Follow for updates on Prisoners & Hunger Strikers
Follow for updates on Child Prisoners
Palestinian Political Prisoners: Breaking the Chains of Oppression, Marching towards Freedom
A Must read ~ by A Voice From Palestine
As Palestinian political prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons start a general open hunger strike, stand in solidarity with them, support their just struggle and demand their freedom.
The indigenous people of occupied Palestine have been held hostage by a brutal military occupation, and confined to ghettos build in their own land. The Palestinians are held captives in their own homes, towns and villages, with military checkpoints locking them up, controlling and limiting their movement, and surrounded by Zionist colonies built on the ruins of Palestinian villages and on the bones of the Palestinians.
They are held captives in their in their own homeland, in their homes and in Israeli dungeons. Every week, tens of Palestinians are kidnapped from their homes, workplace, schools and at checkpoints. Sometimes the detained are released after a few days, after a few weeks or remain in captivity indefinitely. Currently, over 4700 Palestinians are locked up behind Israeli bars, and the Zionist entity violates their rights on a daily basis. In addition to torture, physical and verbal abuse, repeated attacks and humiliation, Palestinian political prisoners suffer from medical negligence and are denied proper nourishment. Continue to read the story here
What can You do to help?
12 April 2012 | International Solidarity Movement
This week International Solidarity Movement is calling for international solidarity in the run up to Palestinian Prisoners Day on the 17th April. The Palestinian prisoners struggle needs immediate international attention as Israel’s treatment of prisoners under a military judicial system starkly violates international law and fundamental human rights. According to Addammer there are currently 4,637 Palestinian political prisoners are kept in Israeli military jails and detention centers, including 320 administrative detainees.
Some of the primary objectives of the prisoners struggle are:
- To stop the system known as administrative detention, which allows the imprisonment of individuals without charge or trail
- To halt the practice of solitary confinement.
- To stop the use of torture and ill treatment. Palestinians are exposed to systematic ill and degrading treatment from the moment of arrest – both physiological and physical terrors are used as means of breaking the prisoners and getting details and information.
- To stop the illegal transference of prisoners from the occupied territories into Israeli borders. Every time Israel brings a prisoner from the West bank jails inside their borders – they are in clear violation with the 4th Geneva Convention.
- To stop the use of military courts for civilians.
- To stop arrest and imprisonment of vulnerable groups such as children, elder and disabled.
Besides the suffering of individual prisoners, Israel systematically uses collective punishment towards the relatives of prisoners. The journeys to visit your husband, wife, son, or daughter may take up to 15 hours as the prisoners are systematically placed as far from their home as possible. Furthermore, visitors will face degrading processes of strip search at the borders to Israel and at the entrance to the prisons. Sometimes they even get turned away.
“All people and governments of conscience in the world have an immediate responsibility to put pressure on Israel forcing them to respect International law and human rights!” says Faris Sabbah, from Addammer, the Prisoners support and Human Rights Association.
- Organize a protest in front of the Israeli Embassy or consulate in our town
- Write letters to protest the violations of rights of Palestinian political prisoners and to call for an intervention to the International Committee of the Red Cross, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and your governoment or parliamentarians.
- Write letters to Palestinian prisoners expressing your support. Read more about thise here:
Submit your photos:
What ever action you choose to take – please submit photos from your action to ISM email@example.com.
You can get inspired from similar ISM campaign carried out in accordance to “Open Shuhada Street Campaign.”
Please follow these guidelines:
- In the subject line please write “ Campaign for international solidarity with Palestininan prisoners”
- Photos should not be a maximum of 1 MB
- A poster, sign, clothing or any other visual statement that expresses your solidarity with Palestinian prisoners should be visible.
- Include a location of the photo (example: Hollywood sign, Hollywood, California) in the email
- Include the date when the photograph was taken in the email
- If the visual is written in a language other than English, please write the statement in the body of the email in order to be translated.
- Photos should be original and not edited or borrowed from another entity
- Photos must be submitted by April 19th and will be published on April 20th.
Click to read the Palestine #PalHunger Paper. Updated twice a day. Subscribe to receive email notification of new editions.
Protests & Solidarity Marches
Scotland – Edinburgh
Saturday, 28 April 2012 12:00 until 14:00
Assemble at Charlotte Square, Edinburgh
*Please invite friends and share*ASSEMBLE 12 Noon at Charlotte Square to March to the Scottish Parliament.
Solidarity with the Palestinian Hunger Strikers! Free Palestine! Boycott Israel!
Last week on Palestinian prisoners day, over 1350 Palestinians prisoners embarked on a mass indefinite hunger strike to protest the horrific conditions they face in Israeli jails. They have followed the lead of 10 other Palestinians detainees who are currently on indefinite hunger strike against their internment without charge. Two of them, Bilal Diab, 27, and Thaer Halahla, 34, have now been refusing food for over 55 days, and are in imminent danger of death with prisoner rights group Adameer describing their condition as “rapidly deteriorating” – Read the whole appeal
UK – London
4pm-5.30pm, Saturday 28th April 2012
Outside No10 Downing Street
We will be gathering to show our support for Palestinian prisoners and to make our politicians aware the inaction by the UK Government can not go on!
More info at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign
(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 25.04.2012)
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