Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network received the following statement from former political prisoners in Timor-Leste, who expressed their solidarity with Palestinian prisoners’ struggle for justice and liberation, including the recent hunger strike of Freedom and Dignity of over 40 days. We republish the statement below from the Timor-Leste Association of Ex-Political Prisoners and Solidarity Association and express our solidarity with the people of Timor-Leste and with all the political prisoners and former prisoners around the world. The mutual solidarity from Palestine, to Ireland, to the Basque Country, to the Philippines, to Turkey and Kurdistan, to Timor-Leste, among political prisoners and former prisoners is critical to building true international connections and solidarity between liberation movements and strugglers for justice.
The message, originally published here, follows below:
Activists in Timor-Leste have long felt a strong connection and sought to offer solidarity to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, peace and human dignity. Human rights and student groups have organized seminars, rallies, candlelight vigils and solidarity statements to support peace and justice in Palestine. After receiving an international call to celebrate the success of a 40-day hunger strike by Palestinian political prisoners, Timorese human rights activists contacted the Timor-Leste Association of Ex-Political Prisoners. Together, they drafted the following statement, which they released on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
Tetun Komunikadu Imprensa below
The Timor-Leste Association of Ex-Political Prisoners and Klibur Solidariedade (Solidarity Association) send congratulations and solidarity to Palestinian Political Prisoners
Date: 6 June 2017
Contact: Jacinto Alves (Tetun, Portugés, English), Assepol, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Celestino Gusmão (Tetun, Indonesian), email@example.com,
Pamela Sexton (English, Tetun), firstname.lastname@example.org
Nug Katjasungkana (Indonesian, Tetun, English), email@example.com
We congratulate the 1,500 Palestinian Political Prisoners (men, women and children) who, through their 40-day collective hunger strike, have secured basic rights which had been systematically denied them by Israel. We celebrate the courage and commitment of your collective action; we celebrate your success.
As we celebrate, we also declare our solidarity and call attention to the long and continuing struggle for freedom, equality, self-determination and basic human rights of the Palestinian people. Our national history teaches us that when faced with occupation, oppression, and injustice, there is no choice but to resist. “To resist is to win.”
Many of us are ex-political prisoners, jailed by Indonesia because we refused to simply accept an illegal occupation of our land. During Indonesia’s brutal occupation, we stood up to military violence and human rights abuses; we stood up against an international order oriented to U.S. corporate interests and militarism. We stood up for the dignity of ourselves, our families and our communities. We stood up for our vision of peace and justice, now and in the future. We encourage political prisoners and wish to tell you that many times, our struggle for a noble cause demands sacrifice and determination. We must believe that the truth will win and will bring happiness to many people. All of your sacrifices will be acknowledged; tudo vale a pena (‘everything is worth the effort’).
Today, as we celebrate with you, we also stand against the widespread detention of Palestinians for defending their basic rights. According to the NGO Palestinian Prisoner’s Club, there are now 6500 Palestinian political prisoners, including 300 children. We stand against the continuing role of the US as a major supporter of militarism and occupation. We stand for against the denial of Palestinian’s basic rights by Israel. We stand for Palestinian’s rights to clear water, safe shelter, food, and basic social services, equality before the law. “A luta continua.” The struggle continues.
The Timor-Leste Association of Ex-Political Prisoners first formed during Indonesia’s illegal occupation, during which systematic arbitrary detention of East Timorese civilians was routine security practice.
Klibur Solidadariedade was formed was formed by Timorese and international solidarity activists in 2009, on the 10th anniversary of Timor-Leste’s historic referendum on independence.
Asosiação dos Ex-Prizioneiros Políticos no Klibur Solidariedade Timor-Leste fó parabéns no solidariedade ba Prizioneiru Polítiku Palestina
Data: 6 fulan-juñu tinan 2017
Ami hato’o parabéns ba prizioneiru polítiku palestinianu (mane, feto no labarik sira) ne’ebé – liuhosi greve han koletivu durante loron 40 – manán atinje 80% husi ezijénsia sira-nian ba direitus umanus báziku ne’ebé Israel viola sistematikamente. Ami selebra prizioneiru polítiku sira-nia asaun koletiva ne’ebé hatudu barani no aten-barani; Ami selebra imi-nia manán.
Tempu hanesan selebra, ami mós deklara solidariedade no bolu atensaun ba imi-nia luta ba liberdade, igualdade, autodeterminasaun no direitus umanus ne’ebé povu palestina buka durante tinan barak ona. Ami-nia istória nasionál hanorin katak bainhira ema hasoru okupasaun, esplorasaun no injustisa, tenke reziste. “Resistir e vencer.”
Barak husi ami mak eis-prizioneiru polítiku, dadur husi Indonézia tanba ami la simu de’it okupasaun ilegál iha ami-nia rai doben. Durante okupasaun Indonézia, ami hasoru violénsia militár no abuzu direitus umanus; ami hasoru orden internasionál ida-ne’ebé orientadu ba interese kompañia Estadus Unidus Amérika no militerizmu. Ami defende ema nia dignidade – ami nian, ami-nia familia no komunidade nian. Ami defende ami-nia vizaun ba dame no justisa, agora no iha futuru. Ami enkoraja prizioneiru polítiku sira no hato’o katak dala barak, luta ba objetivu ne’ebé mulia (laran nakonu domin) ezije ita halo sakrifísiu ho determinasaun. Ita tenke fiar katak lia-loos sei manán no sei habelar felisidade ba ema barak. Sakrifísiu hotu sei hetan rekoñesimentu; “tudo vale a pena”.
Ohin-loron, ami selebra ho imi no ami mós hasoru violasaun direitus umanus ema Palestina nian husi Estadu Israel. Tuir ONG Klube Prizioneiru Palestina, iha prizioneiru polítiku palestinianu na’in-6,500 ne’ebé inklui labarik na’in-300. Ita hasoru violasaun sistemátika ida-ne’e, no mós hasoru papél Estadus Unidus Amérika ho ninia suporta maka’as ba militerizmu no okupasaun. Ami defende direitus umanus báziku ema Palestina nian, inklui direitu ba bee moos, uma, ai-han no servisu sosiál báziku sira no igualdade iha lei nia oin. “A luta continua.”