23RD MAY – SOLIDARITY PROTEST WITH MASS HUNGER STRIKE TO END ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION
Date: Friday 23rd May 2014, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: G4S HQ, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT (Closest public transport: Victoria Tube/Rail station)
On 24th April 2014 a mass hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners demanding an end to Israels’s illegal policy of punitive Administrative Detention began with 134 administrative detainees joining the strike on the first day. Today (22nd May), on the 23rd day of the hunger strike over 5,000 Palestinian prisoners have joined the hunger strike for a day of solidarity with the administrative detainees. Tomorrow we will protest in London for the third time is solidarity with the mass hunger strike. Please join us.
We will inshAllah have a message from the family of one of the hunger striking administrative detainees to read out at the protest.
Administrative detention is a practice used by Israel to imprison Palestinians indefinitely without charge or trial.
Prisoners are given rolling detention orders which can be anything from 1-6 months, renewable indefinitely. This is against international law. For example administrative detainee Mazen Natsheh has been locked up cumulatively for nearly 10 years without charge or trial.
Detention orders are based on so called “secret information” which never needs to be produced, either to the detainee nor their lawyer.
Administrative detention is often used to arbitrarily jail Palestinians where there is no evidence for a trial, or for punishment as in the case of 9 Palestinian MPs.
Israel has on average issued over 2000 detention orders every year (2007-2011). Today there are 186 administrative detainees, the vast majority – 86% are locked up in G4S secured prisons like Ofer, Ketziot and Megiddo. Most of them having been transferred from the West Bank into Israel in contravention of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
We will be protesting outside the headquarters of G4S in London demanding Israel stop its illegal policy of punitive administrative detention and for G4S to stop its complicity in Israeli war crimes against Palestinian prisoners.
AYMAN AL-TABEESH – 85th DAY OF HUNGER STRIKE
On 17th Feb 2013 Israeli soldiers abducted 33 years old Ayman Al-Tabeesh from his home in Dura, near al-Khalil, and caged him at the G4S secured Ofer prison – indefinitely on an illegal rolling administrative detention order with no charge, and no trial.
To protest he went on a 105 day hunger strike, only stopping once Israel had agreed in writing that they would not renew his administrative detention. Yet in Jan 2014 Israel reneged on its written agreement and issued a new administrative detention order. As a result Ayman started a second hunger strike on 28th Feb 2014.
After 70 days he lost over 25kg in weight and his condition is so critical that he has been moved twice to different hospitals.
Two months after Ayman started his strike over 130 other administrative detainees joined the hunger strike – all demanding an end to Israel’s illegal practice of administrative detention.
We received a short message from the Muhammed Al-Tabeesh the brother of hunger striker Ayman Al-Tabeesh. Muhammed himself was a hunger striker and was released from the occupations prison just 4 months ago. The message was written especially for the 9th May London protest, it reads:
“Thank you for standing besides us in supporting the steadfastness of my brother Ayman Al-Tabeesh in his hunger strike.
Thank you for your humanity in supporting the Palestinian prisoners, especially the hunger strikers.
We need you to tell the international community of Israel’s criminal brutality against our prisoners, the violation of their rights. The occupations illegal never ending administrative detention orders is nothing less than a slow death for Palestinian prisoners.”
Friday will be Ayman Al-Tabeesh’s 85th day of hunger strike.
We would like to thank the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies for their help in this campaign.
CHILD PRISONERS – HARES BOYS
We will also be continue our campaign for child prisoners, in particular the Hares Boys who have been caged in a G4S secured prison now for well over a year, going from one postponed military hearing to another, for a crime that didn’t even happen.
WOMEN PRISONERS – LENA JARBONI TO SHIREEN ISSAWI
There currently 22 women prisoners nearly all locked up in G4S secured HaSharon prison from the longest serving woman, Lena Jarboni who has been caged for nearly 12 years, to one of the newest woman prisoners Shireen Issawi.
Shireen Issawi who was abducted by the Israeli occupation on 6th March. As a human right lawyer she has been a strong advocate for prisoners rights, a thorn against the occupation. After interrogating her for a full month at Israel’s notorious G4S secured torture den – the Russian Compound in Jerusalem, they transferred her to the filthy rat infested dungeon at Hasharon, also secured by G4S. The transfer of Palestinian prisoners from the occupied West Bank and Gaza to into Israel (to HaSharon Prison) is illegal under international law and constitutes a war crime, G4S is complicit in this by the services it provides to HaSharon Prison.
In a meeting with her lawyer in HaSharon prison Shireen revealed the daily ordeal she suffered during the 22 days of interrogation at the G4S secured Russian Compound in Jerusalem Prison. Everyday the interrogation would started at 10am in the morning and last 16 hours, until 2am the next morning leaving her exhausted. The stress positions during interrogation have left her with severe pains in her back. Between interrogation sessions she was caged in solidarity confinement with no contact with any other prisoner.
Shireen also complained of the cruel transportation from the prison to the court where she is strapped to an iron chair with hands and feet shackled for over 8 hours in a closed bus with no ventilation or access to water or a toilet whilst being taunted by the cruel soldiers of the Nashshon Unit of the occupation.
When her military court hearing was postponed for a year she started a hunger strike in protest on 7th May. After 13 days on hunger strike the occupation relented and agreed to a new court hearing and the possibility of bail as was the case with the other lawyers who were arrested at the same time as her. With this concession Shireen has suspended her hunger strike. Both Shireen and her brother Medhat Issawi remain imprisoned despite the fact that the other lawyers that were abducted at the same time as them have been released on bail.
LIVE UPDATES DURING PROTEST
We will, inshAllah, be tweeting live (hash tags #Water_and_Salt #StopAD #StopG4S ) from the protest with live photos being uploaded to our twitter and facebook page. So if you can’t join us on the day, please help us by sharing the photos as they get uploaded.
Palestinian Prisoners Campaign
The Palestinian Prisoners Campaign aims to raise awareness for the plight of Palestinian prisoners and build solidarity for their struggle and work towards their freedom. The campaign was launched by Innovative Minds (inminds.com) and the Islamic Human Rights Commission (ihrc.org) on the occasion of Al Quds Day 2012 (on 17th August 2012), since then we have held actions every fortnight in support of Palestinian prisoners, if you can spare two hours twice a month then please join the campaign by coming to the next action.