PALESTINIAN PRISONERS’ DAY – Take Action to call for Freedom for Palestinian Prisoners!

Background | Actions | Events Around the World | Act now: Write the ICRC

April 17, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, is a global day of action for Palestinian prisoners. Events will take place around the world in support of Palestinian prisoners (see below for details.) As Prisoners’ Day dawns, 10 Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike, including Bilal Diab and Tha’ir Halahleh, two administrative detainees held without charge or trial who are both nearing 50 days of hunger strike. Thousands more Palestinian prisoners plan to join in a massive hunger strike to launch April 17. International solidarity is needed!

There are approximately 4,600 Palestinian political prisoners inside Israeli jails. Palestinians, living under occupation and oppression for nearly 64 years, have been targeted for mass imprisonment and detention by the Israeli occupation. Nearly every Palestinian family has been touched by political imprisonment – a father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, cousin, uncle, aunt – from the elderly to children.

Palestinian political prisoners are also political leaders. 27 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat, Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi, and the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Abdel-Aziz Dweik, who represents Hamas, are held in Israeli prisons. Ameer Makhoul, one of the Palestinian prisoners who is also a citizen of Israel, was general director of Ittijah – The Union of Arab Community-Based Associations and the Chairman of the Public Committee for the Defense of Political Freedom.

Writers, scholars, students and artists are also Palestinian political prisoners, including Palestinian scholar Dr. Ahmed Qatamesh, who has now been held without trial or charge for nearly a year, Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq, a professor at An-Najah University whose administrative detention was just extended for an additional six months, and Ola Haniyeh, a student leader at Bir Zeit University and a leading political prisoner solidarity activist abducted just before student elections and currently held under interrogation.

We demand the immediate release of all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. They have been targeted by an unfair and unequal legal system. Their imprisonment reflects Israel’s inherent system of injustice and racism. In addition, Israel must immediately halt its practices of:

  • Administrative detention.
  • Torture and ill-treatment of detainees.
  • Solitary confinement and isolation.
  • The use of military courts in the occupied Palestinian territory that illegally try civilians.
  • Undermining a fair trial by using secret evidence against the accused.
  • Arresting vulnerable groups, such as children, disabled, elderly and ill people.


1. Organize or attend an Event or Action marking Palestinian Prisoners’ Day! See below for events taking place around the world. No listed event in your city? Tell us about your local event here! 

2. Write to the International Committee of the Red Cross to demand it fulfil its responsibilities to protect the rights of Palestinian political prisoners. Click here to email!

3. Learn more about the Karameh Hunger Strike launching April 17 and inform others that over 1600 Palestinian prisoners will launch a hunger strike on Tuesday.

4. Download, use and distribute the handouts and factsheets for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day! These factsheets are made for use in your community:

5. Watch and display the video testimony of former Palestinian prisoner, Dr. Abdul-Aziz Omar. This video is available in three lengths – 6 minutes, 15 minutes, and 40 minutes. Stream the videos here!

Palestinian Prisoners’ Day Events (Submit Your Event Here)

Toronto: Palestinian Prisoners’ Day – Perspectives on the current struggle

Tuesday, April 17
7:00 PM
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St., Toronto, ON
Facebook event:

April 17th is International Palestinian Prisoners Day. As of 1 March 2012, there were 4,637 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including 183 children. Just like Hana Shalabi and Khader Adnan, 320 prisoners are held–without charge or trial–under administrative detention. More details…

Ameena Sultan, Shaira Vadasaria, Issam Al Yamani

Vancouver: Rally and Speak-Out for Freedom for Palestinian Prisoners

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
CBC Building, 700 Hamilton St (Hamilton and Georgia), Vancouver
Facebook Event:

Nearly 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners are held in jails in Israel, including 170 children and 6 women. 310 prisoners are held – without charge or trial – under administrative detention. Palestinian prisoners include over 20 lawmakers and national leaders, like Ahmad Sa’adat, Marwan Barghouthi and Aziz Dweik.

On April 17, 2012, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, people around the world will respond to the call to take action for Palestinian political prisoners.  In Vancouver, Join us on April 17 to support Palestinian prisoners, demand their freedom, and call for justice. More details…

Chicago: Hungry for Justice – Fast in Solidarity with Palestinian Political Prisoners

Join CMPR for a community dinner and discussion with prisoner rights activist Bekah Wolf

Tuesday, April 17, 7:00pm
CAIR-Chicago Gallery
28 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60604
Facebook event:

**Free and open to the public, but space at the venue is limited. To ensure a seat, please RSVP to as soon as possible.**

Since 1974, April 17 has been commemorated annually as Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. Currently there are more than 4500 Palestinians in Israeli prisons and detention centers; nearly 200 of these prisoners are children. Just like Hana Shalabi and Khader Adnan, 320 prisoners are held – without charge or trial – under administrative detention.  Here in Chicago, the Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights (CMPR) is calling on people of conscience to fast from sunrise to sunset on April 17 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. According to latest reports from prisoner rights group Addameer, 8 prisoners are currently on hunger strike. More details…

Speaker: Bekah Wolf

Glasgow: March for the Karameh Hunger Strikers, March for Palestine

Tuesday, April 17 – 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
George Square, Glasgow
Facebook Event:

On Palestinian prisoners day, Tuesday 17th of April, the Palestinian prisoners movement will launch the Karamah (Dignity) hunger strike. The magnitude of the 1600 Palestinian prisoners embarking on the Karamah hunger strike must be met with a significant international response. This means mass mobilisations to question the impunity of the Israeli state and our own governments involvement. As the resistance of the prisoners escalates, our actions in turn must escalate. This demo is called for by ‘We Are All Hana Shalabi’. More details..

Brussels: Protest for Palestinian Prisoners

  • Manifestatie in Brussel
    dinsdag 17 april 2012
    Europese Commissie te Brussel (Schuman-Rotonde)

en een

  • Solidariteitsavond
    18 tot 22 uur
    film (25 min.): “Libres dans la prison de Gaza”
    Chris Den Hond en Mireille Court (2012)
Den Haag: Picket at Israeli Embassy
The Hague, picket line at Israeli embassy, address: Buitenhof
Time: 12.30 – 13.30h

In Den Haag bij een picket van 12.30 – 13.30 uur bij de Israelische ambassade (Buitenhof).

Bradford: Day of Action and Education
Bradford United 4 Palestine will be in Student Central at the University of Bradford, in Bradford City, UK, all day, Tuesday, April 17, with information about Palestinian Prisoners’ Day and the struggle of Palestinian prisoners.

Pisa: International Solidarity On the Day of the Palestinian Prisoner

Tuesday, April 17
7:00 pm
Via S. Lorenzo 38
Pisa, Italy
Facebook Event:

The Initiative of International Solidarity for the Palestinian Prisoners will feature a talk by Shoukri Hroub of the Arab Palestinian Democratic Union (UDAP), as well as a brief overview of the intervention of the Mossad in some Latin American countries, including Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia and Guatemala.

This event is sponsored by UDAP-Tuscany, Collective April 25, BRISOP, and Cobas Confederation Pisa. More details…

Athens: Picket in Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners

There is a protest April 17, 2012 at the Israeli Embassy in Athens, Greece at 6:30 in solidarity with the Karama Hunger Strike and the Palestinian prisoners.

Dublin: Lunchtime Picket with Palestinian Prisoners

To mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2012, on Tuesday 17th April from 1-2pm the IPSC will be holding a symbolic lunchtime demonstration outside EU House, Molesworth Street (Dublin 2) to highlight the European Union’s ongoing facilitation of Israel’s apartheid policies and war crimes – including the imprisonment of over 4,400 political prisoners.

Following the demo, activists will move to Grafton Street and conduct an information stall between 2.30 and 5.30pm, distributing information about Palestinian political prisoners. More details…

Sydney: International Day of Action for Palestinian Prisoners

Tuesday, April 17
6 pm – 8 pm
Sydney town Hall
Sydney, Australia

Facebook event:

Students for Justice in Palestine invites you to a rally from 6pm to 8pm onTuesday, April 17, on Palestine Prisoners’ Day. Meet outside Sydney Town Hall. Our lips will be silenced with tape, symbolising the purpose of ‘administrative detention’, which is to silence Palestinian resistance against Israeli apartheid. More details…

Montreal: Sumoud – An Evening of Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners

Thursday, April 19
6:30pm until 9:30pm
Concordia University Hall Building, Room H-110
1455 de Maisonneuve West Metro Guy-Concordia
Montreal, Quebec

Facebook event:

Please join us for a panel discussion and screening to highlight prisoner struggles, affirm our support and stand in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners. Featuring speakers: Issam Al-Yamani, Serin Atiani, and a screening of a video produced by Addameer, featuring an interview with Suha Barghouti, wife of Palestinian writer, scholar and political prisoner Ahmed Qatamesh. More details…

Action: Write to the ICRC!