One year after the historic prisoner exchange in which 1,000 Palestinian prisoners were released from Israeli prisons, concluding a 14-day mass hunger strike in the occupation prisons, Palestinian prisoners continue under siege. Human rights defender Ayman Nasser of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association was seized by Israeli occupation forces on October 15, while hunger strikers Ayman Sharawna and Samer al-Issawi – both re-arrested after their release in the prisoner exchange – continue their heroic fasts for freedom. Samer al-Barq, who recently concluded a 123-day strike, has resumed his strike after Israel dishonoured their agreement. Click here to act now to demand the release of Nasser and freedom for Sharawna, Issawi and al-Barq!
Palestinian former prisoners – a number of whom were displaced to Gaza from their homes elsewhere in Palestine at their release – both celebrated their freedom on the anniversary while demanding that those inside Israeli prisons be freed to join their brothers and sisters outside. Meanwhile, Nasser, a key prisoners’ rights advocate, was himself seized and detained behind bars in an Israeli occupation prison.
Tweet Now for Ayman Nasser: #FreeAyman Nasser imprisoned Palestinian Human Rights Defender of @Addameer_ps Act:http://samidoun.ca/?p=1713
Addameer reported that staff researcher and longtime prisoner advocate Ayman Nasser was abducted from his home by occupation forces early on October 15. On October 18, he appeared in a Jerusalem military court, where his interrogation period was extended by seven days. Ayman addressed the court directly: “I believe that every human being has opinions and positions and if it’s not violating the law he can freely think and speak these opinions. I am a human rights defender who supports the Palestinian prisoners and I represent my opinions in the public media. My thoughts are not secret, they are public, and everyone knows them.”
Like many Palestinian prisoners, Ayman is subject to medical neglect – he is currently only receiving two out of the five medications that he requires daily. Addameer reported, “The judge ruled that based on ‘secret evidence’ he would extend Ayman’s interrogation period for another seven days and referred the situation of the medicine to the doctor at Moskobiyyeh detention center.” Moskobiyyeh, where Ayman is now held, is one of the most notorious detention centres in the Israeli occupation system; he was interrogated for 10 hours straight on October 17 and his interrogation has continued with similar intensity since that time.
Ayman spent six years in Israeli prisons, from 1992 to 1997. He has worked at Addameer since 2008, lectures in social work at Al-Quds Open University, and directs the Handala Centre, a cultural centre in Saffa village. On October 21, it was announced that he won a seat on his village’s municipal council in the weekend’s West Bank municipal elections, from his cell in Israeli detention.
Act now to free Ayman Nasser!
4. Join a protest or demonstration outside an Israeli consulate for Palestinian prisoners. Many groups and organizations are holding events – join one or announce your own. Organizing an event, action or forum on Palestinian prisoners on your city or campus? Use this form to contact us and we will post the event widely. If you need suggestions, materials or speakers for your event, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Contact your government officials and demand an end to international silence and complicity with the repression of Palestinian political prisoners. In Canada, Call the office of John Baird, Foreign Minister, and demand an end to Canadian support for Israel and justice for Palestinian prisoners, at : 613-990-7720; Email: email@example.com. In the US, call the office of Elizabeth Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs (1.202.647.7209). Demand that Elizabeth Jones bring this issue urgently to her counterparts in Israel.
6. Join in the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Boycott Israeli products, and academic and cultural institutions until all Palestinian rights (including the right of refugees to return, to be free from occupation and for full equality) are fulfilled – including freeing the thousands of Palestinian prisoners behind bars.