PFLP prisoners call for unified action to support Jordanian hunger strikers

PFLP poster of hunger striking prisoner, Mohammad Rimawi

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat reported on August 5 that prisoners affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine are calling for the leadership of the national and Islamic forces to meet urgently to plan actions to support the Jordanian prisoners on hunger strike, including the PFLP leader Mohammad Rimawi. The prisoners, who began refusing food on May 2, have now been striking for over three months. In a statement released from inside occupation prisons, the PFLP prisoners said that “silence on this national and human issue is complicity in the crime, and increases the suffering of the prisoners.”

The statement accused the Jordanian government and the Palestinian Authority of ignoring the issue of the strikers, and called on the masses of the Palestinian and Jordanian people to engage in urgent popular action to pressure them to be compelled to intervene, in order to save the prisoners’ lives from the threat of death.

The prisoners’ statement said that the striking prisoners, Abdullah Barghouthi, Mohammad Rimawi, Hamza Othman al-Dabbas, Muneer Mar’i and Alaa Hammad are suffering from dehydration and persistent headaches, and have lost a significant amount of weight. They have threatened to stop drinking water, if there is no response to their just demands. The five are all Palestinian political prisoners who carry Jordanian citizenship. They have three demands:

1. That they be released from Israeli prisons and serve their sentences in Jordanian prisons according to the Wadi Araba Agreement between Jordan and Israel. This agreement was previously applied to the case of prisoner Sultan Al-Ajouli, who was transferred to Jordanian custody in accordance with the agreement.

2. That the Occupation disclose the whereabouts of missing Jordanian prisoners, of which there are 20.

3. That the Occupation remove martyrs from the ‘numbered graves’, where prisoners who died in custody are currently kept in nameless graves.

The statement from the PFLP prisoners particularly warned against a serious deterioration of the health of Mohammad Rimawi, who is currently at Soroka Hospital. He suffers from many chronic diseases and is at risk of a sudden heart attack if action is not taken. The prisoners criticized the official handling of this issue, saying that it does not meet the level of response that is necessary.

The prisoners warned they are following the status of the strikers on a constant basis and there is a state of emergency in various prisons to launch a series of events. They noted that last Friday and Saturday, prisoners in the south held a partial hunger strike, which will then move to all the occupation prisons, and closed by saying they hoped to see this lead to a mass strike to be considered seriously by all national and Islamic factions.