Take Action: Act now for Ayman Sharawna, Samer al-Issawi and Samer al-Barq!

On October 18, while Palestinian human rights defender Ayman Nasser‘s detention was being extended, and on the anniversary of his own release in the historic prisoners exchange of 2012, hunger striker Ayman Sharawna, who is now on his 114th day of hunger strike, was transferred to solitary confinement in Ramle prison. Samer al-Issawi, also re-arrested after his own release in the exchange, is now on his 83rd day of hunger strike, while Samer al-Barq has renewed his hunger strike after Israel dishonored their release agreement. Click here to take action to demand freedom for the hunger striking heroes!

*Please note that Addameer announced on October 23 that al-Barq’s hunger strike has been suspended. Sharawna’s and Issawi’s continue. The advocacy letter has been updated to current circumstances.

Tadamun foundation reported that Sharawna was transferred after refusing medical services in Ramle hospital. He has lost 80% of his vision in his right eye (while already having lost vision in his left eye) and is now almost completely blind. He suffers from severe kidney problems as well as back pain, for which he is denied treatment so long as his hunger strike continues. Sharawna has been detained without charge or trial since he was re-arrested January 31 after a few short months of release.

Samer Issawi has been on hunger strike since August 1 and is now on his 83rd day of hunger strike. Issawi was also freed in last year’s prisoner exchange, and re-arrested on July 7, 2012, accused of leaving Jerusalem, to where he is restricted under the terms of his release. As reported in the Electronic Intifada, the prisoners initially refused this condition but signed to it under assurances from Egyptian officials that it was a mere formality. Samer Issawi was seized near Hizma – inside the Israeli-defined municipal borders of Jerusalem. “What is Jerusalem for the Israelis?” Issawi’s father told the Electronic Intifada. “Whenever it suits them, they change their definition of Jerusalem!'”

Samer Issawi’s hunger strike continues and his condition is progressively more severe. The International Committee of the Red Cross and prisoner support and human rights groups have been denied access to visit him; he is committed to continue his strike until freedom and has refused deportation.

Samer al-Barq, who previously ended his 123-day hunger strike on September 21 following a commitment by the Israelis to deport him to Egypt, where he sought to reunite with his Pakistani wife, resumed his own hunger strike on October 14 after the agreement was not honoured by Israel. Al-Barq has resumed his strike and is demanding his freedom. He has been held without charge or trial since 2010. Update: Al-Barq has suspended his hunger strike pending action on his detention. The advocacy letter below is updated.

Act now to demand freedom and justice for Ayman Sharawna, Samer al-Issawi and Samer al-Barq!

1. Click here to send a letter to Israeli officials demanding the immediate release of hunger strikers Ayman Sharawna and Samer al-Issawi!

2. Click here to send a letter to Israeli officials demanding the immediate release of Ayman Nasser and an end to the persecution of Palestinian human rights defenders.

3. 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 samidoun@samidoun.ca. 

4. 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: bairdj@parl.gc.ca. 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.

5. 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.