Photo: League of Filipino Students

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is honored to republish the statement below, from Filipino political prisoners held in one of the most restrictive prisons in the Philippines, Camp Bagong Diwa. These prisoners of the national democratic movement in the Philippines are expressing their solidarity behind bars to the over 1500 Palestinian political prisoners – among a total of over 6300 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails – on hunger strike for freedom and dignity.

Like the message of Irish republican prisoners to the hunger strikers, this statement sends a powerful message of united struggle confronting colonialism, imperialism, Zionism, exploitation and oppression everywhere in the world.  The political prisoners of the Philippines are on the front lines of the people’s movement fighting plunder, imperialist domination and brutal exploitation of the land and wealth of the people of the Philippines.  Their message of solidarity only underlines the internationalist strength of the Palestinian cause and the importance of this hunger strike not only to the Palestinian prisoners and people, but to prisoners and people’s movements everywhere fighting repression and struggling for freedom and dignity.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the political prisoners in the Philippines and expresses our utmost solidarity with their struggle for justice and liberation, and with the struggle of the people of the Philippines for true democracy and national liberation. We are honored to struggle together with the comrades of the people’s movements of the Philippines, from the streets of New York City, Vancouver, Amsterdam and around the world, to the international forum of the International League of People’s Struggle. We urge the immediate freedom of all political prisoners in the Philippines and raise our voices together with the people’s movements of the Philippines and Palestine to demand liberation of all political prisoners and to stand together against imperialism, Zionism, exploitation and oppression.

The prisoners’ statement follows:

Solidarity Message of Filipino Political Prisoners in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, Philippines to the Palestinian Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike
May 17, 2017

On behalf of all political prisoners in the Philippines, we salute and pay tribute to the more than 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners, who are on the 30th day of their hunger strike against repressive policies and oppression by the Israeli and US government. We are one with you in your aspirations for freedom and dignity, aspirations long denied to the people of Palestine.

Your struggle is very similar to ours. Like you, we are victims of the worst conditions in jails and the slow pace of justice in the Philippines. We are also victims of injustice – we were illegally arrested because of our political beliefs, we are charged with trumped up cases, jailed or wrongly convicted to keep us behind bars for many years.

Your struggle for basic human rights such as the right to regular visits of relatives, to timely and appropriate medical attention and services, to continue studies and education while in prison, against solitary confinement and illegal detention, are our struggle too. These are rights denied of us, even while international laws exist to protect our rights as detained persons.

Zionist Israel, which is the primary instrument of US imperialism against the Palestinian peoples, has victimized thousands and millions of your peoples. It has caused the denial of homes and lands to the peoples of Palestine, using State terror and brutal wars to impose its hegemony over the political, economic and social aspects of your life as a people. But your continuing struggle is an inspiration to all oppressed and struggling peoples of the world, including the Filipino people who are fighting for national liberation and genuine democracy.

We applaud the support and solidarity extended by peoples all over the world for your hunger strike. We are one with you in this struggle. We will launch a sympathy fast, in solidarity with you, on May 20, 2017, while solidarity street action will be conducted on May 17 by human rights and people’s organizations in the Philippines. We express our unwavering support for your struggle for freedom, as well as the struggle of the Palestinian peoples.

Free all political prisoners!
Long live the people of Palestine!
Long international solidarity! Long live all struggling peoples of the world!