Activists in New York protested outside the offices of security multinational G4S on Friday, 26 February, in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, focusing on the cases of Mohammed al-Qeeq and Omar Nayef Zayed.
Al-Qeeq, 33, a Palestinian journalist held in Israeli administrative detention without charge or trial, announced an end to his 94-day hunger strike earlier on Friday, with the conclusion of an agreement to end his imprisonment and secure his freedom.
Nayef Zayed, 52, was found dead in the garden of the Palestinian Embassy in Bulgaria on Fridsy morning. Palestinian political forces and his family have all expressed outrage and labelled the killing an assassination; a former Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails, Zayed was staying in the Palestinian embassy to take refuge from an extradition request by the Israeli state to Bulgaria. Zayed had been taking refuge in the embassy since December 2015 and was the subject of an international campaign for his freedom; he lived in Bulgaria for 22 years after escaping Israel imprisonment in 1990 and fleeing Palestine.
The demonstration, part of weekly actions organized by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in New York City, was joined by representatives of Filipino and Pakistani community organizations, Bernadette Ellorin of BAYAN USA and Comrade Shahid of the Pakistan USA Freedom Forum.
The weekly protests focus on G4S, subject to an international call for boycott, including an appeal from Palestinian prisoners. The massive security corporation provides equipment and control rooms to Israeli prisons and interrogation centers and checkpoints, supplying the structure of oppression, occupation and torture. Protesters demand G4S – which also is involved in human rights violations in the US, Canada, South Africa, UK, Australia and elsewhere – get out of Palestine, and are calling on institutions to end their contracts with the corporation, including the United Nations.
Photos by Joe Catron