Palestinian prisoner Nael Barghouthi – the longest-held Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails – was injured in a fall inside the “Bosta” vehicle as he was taken from Ramon prison, reported Asra Voice, as New Yorkers plan to protest for his release on Friday, 27 January.

Barghouthi, 59, is currently imprisoned while a secret Israeli military commission decides whether or not to impose his original life sentence; he was freed in 2011 as part of the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange after nearly 34 years in Israeli prison. In 2014, he was among dozens of former prisoners rounded up en masse in an attempt to pressure Palestinian resistance organizations; on the basis of secret evidence and dubious allegations of “connections with” members of “prohibited organizations,” including every major Palestinian political party. Barghouthi did not have his sentence reimposed; instead, he was ordered to 30 more months of imprisonment, which ended on 17 December 2016. The military prosecution appealed this sentence and is calling for the reimposition of his original sentence; this appeal has been sitting before the secretive commission since 2015.

His lawyers have appealed for his release; however, Israeli military courts have kept him imprisoned until the committee issues a decision on his case. During this time, he has been repeatedly transferred from one prison to another, including this transfer on 10 January.

Barghouthi was shackled hand and foot in the all-metal vehicle; in the fall, his right hand was wounded and his left foot was injured. His lawyer said on 22 January that he has not received tests or treatment for his continuing severe pain in his left leg.

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network are joining in this urgent call for action to pressure Israel to release Nael Barghouthi, being held as a political hostage by the Israeli government. 

Activists in New York City will be protesting on Friday, 27 November at a protest organized by Samidoun, focusing on the call to release Barghouthi and the international movement to boycott Hewlett-Packard products, as HP is engaged in multiple contracts with Israeli occupation forces, including the Israel prison service, profiting from the imprisonment of Palestinians. Protesters will gather at 5:30 pm at the Union Square Best Buy at 52 E. 14th Street; all are welcome to join.

TAKE ACTION:

  1. Sign and share the Change.org petition to urge international officials to take action for Nael Barghouthi’s release: https://www.change.org/p/international-officials-pressure-israel-to-free-nael-barghouthi
  1. Organize a protest, demonstration, speaking event or banner drop in your city, community or campus calling for freedom for Nael Barghouthi and his fellow Palestinian prisoners.
  1. Write to Israeli officials to demand Nael Barghouthi’s release. Write a message and email or fax it to the officials. Details available here: http://samidoun.net/2017/01/take-action-urgent-call-to-free-nael-barghouthi-longest-held-palestinian-prisoner/