by Rifat Audeh
In solidarity with the prisoners illegally incarcerated by the Israeli occupation throughout Palestine and conducting an open-ended hunger strike in Israeli jails, a sit-in protest took place on Wednesday May 2nd in Amman, Jordan, in front of the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The protest, organized by independent activists, included many children, and the theme of this protest was banging on pots and pans and blowing whistles, to grab the attention of the ICRC in particular and the society/international community at large, to alleviate the suffering of said prisoners and demand their rights.
It is worth noting that the method the children used wasn’t employed before in any action in the country.
At the end of the protest, a petition – signed by all those at the sit-in including all the children – was handed over to the ICRC official in charge of communications. The petition called for the intervention of the ICRC to alleviate the suffering of those incarcerated and to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to end its oppressive, inhumane and illegal practices against these freedom fighters. The petition further demanded that the prisoners be treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, and requested that the ICRC shoulder its responsibility by organizing regular visits for the families in Jordan of these prisoners through the Committee’s transportation and personnel.
Petition presented to the ICRC on May 2, 2012 regarding the status of prisoners incarcerated by the illegal Israeli occupation
We, the undersigned on this petition, call upon the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), along with other humanitarian and human rights organizations worldwide, to directly intervene in order to alleviate the suffering of the Jordanian, Palestinian and other prisoners illegally incarcerated by the Israeli occupation throughout occupied Palestine including the areas occupied in 1948.
As the ICRC is aware, these prisoners are subject to degrading and humiliating treatment consistently by the Israeli authorities and are denied their basic human rights while illegally incarcerated. Many of them have not even seen their families for years. Accordingly these prisoners have begun an open-ended hunger strike as of April 17, 2012, while some prisoners have been on strike for more than two months now. Needless to say, the health of many of our brethren in these prisons has deteriorated considerably.
We represent citizens in Jordan from all walks of life, along with the families, friends and relatives of some of these prisoners. We ask that the ICRC work along with fellow organizations with similar orientations and goals, to raise this matter urgently with the media and governments worldwide, in order to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to end its oppressive, inhumane and illegal practices against these freedom fighters. At the very least, these prisoners must be treated as prisoners of war and be granted all their rights accordingly as per the Geneva Conventions.
We also request that the ICRC organize regular visits for the families in Jordan of these prisoners, since family visits is one such right that the prisoners are entitled to and this can be accomplished through the ICRC transportation and personnel.
We thank you for listening to our concerns and receiving our petition.