27TH JUNE – PROTEST IN SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIAN PRISONERS – HUNGER STRIKER AYMAN AL-TABEESH, THE ISSAWI FAMILY & HARES BOYS
Date: Friday 27th June 2014, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: G4S HQ, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT (Closest public transport: Victoria Tube/Rail station)
On 25th June 2014 the the mass hunger strike by over 300 Palestinian prisoners demanding an end to Israels illegal practice of administrative detention was suspended after 63 days without food – it was the longest mass hunger strike in Palestinian history. Whilst minor concessions were won – the renewal of administrative detentions not to exceed one year, after that period the prisoner should be formally charged or released rather than be held in limbo with no reason given. But Israel had previously agreed to these with no follow through. Israel also agreed not to punish the hunger strikers – in the past hunger strikers have been fined heavily just for going on hunger strike. The main reason for suspending the strike was to give the families of the hunger strikers a little relief before the start of Ramadan, with the Israeli aggression escalating every hour with homes ransacked, families terrorised, many killed and hundreds abducted (540 abducted in the last two weeks) including over 50 new child abductions (number of Palestinian children in Israeli dungeons increasing to 250).
Despite the suspension of the mass hunger strike, administrative detainee Ayman Al-Tabeesh (Tbeish) is still on hunger strike. Friday will mark Ayman Al-Tabeesh’s 120th day on hunger strike. We will show our solidarity with his hunger strike this friday and demanding an end to Israel illegal practice of punitive administrative detention.
On June 23rd former record breaking hunger striker Samer Issawi was abducted when his home in Issawiya was stormed by Israeli soldiers. His sister Shireen was arrested with their brothers Medhat and Shadi on March 6, 2014. The Issawis were not charged. Shadi was released on bail. Shireen and Medhat remain in prison. Their detention has been extended by Israeli military court three times. In January 2013 another brother Ahmad Issawi’s home was bulldozed. We will be protesting against the targeting of the Issawi family by the occupation and demanding their immediate release.
Um Fadi the mother of tortured Palestinian child prisoner Ali Shamlawi, one of the 5 Hares Boys who have been caged now for 15 months in a G4S secured dungeon, will be ending her UK speaking tour on friday. Please join us on friday outside G4S HQ on Victoria Street as we demand the release of her son Ali and the other Hares Boys.
AYMAN AL-TABEESH – 120 DAYS ON 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. He eye sight is now suffering and he was developed kidney and stomach problems. He can no longer feel his limbs as numbness overtakes them. Today Ayman Al-Tabeesh completes his 102 days on hunger strike.
For our protest of 9th May 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 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.”
HARES BOYS – BACKGROUND
On 14th March 2013 a simple car accident, when a illegal Israeli settler car speeding along a road built illegally on stolen Palestinian land, crashed in to the back of an Israeli truck which had stopped to change a flat tire resulting in four people being hurt, was later at the behest of angry settlers presented as an attack by Palestinian stone throwing youth. The truck drivers earlier testimony that he stopped due to a flat tire was replaced with the new reason being that he had seen stones by the road, and an accident that nobody saw suddenly became a terror attack with 61 witnesses including the police!
Over the next few days over 50 masked Israeli soldiers with attack dogs stormed the local village of Hares in the early hours of the morning and in waves of violent arrests kidnapped the children of the village. In total 19 children were taken to the infamous G4S secured children’s dungeon at Al Jalame and locked up in solitary confinement for up to 2 weeks in filthy windowless 1m by 2m hole in the ground cells with no mattress. The Israeli prime minister Benyamin Natanyahu announced to the settlers that he had “caught the terrorists”. The children were violently tortured and sexual threats were made against the female members of their families in order to coerce confessions from the boys.
With the confessions and the new “eye-witness” statements, five of the Hares boys were charged with 25 counts of attempted murder each, even though there were only four people in the car and all are now safe at home. Apparently the military court had decided that 25 stones were thrown, each with an “intent to kill”. The five boys – Ali Shamlawi, Mohammed Kleib, Mohammed Mehdi Suleiman, Tamer Souf, and Ammar Souf are currently locked up in another G4S secured facility – Megiddo prison where G4S provides the entire central command room.
In violation of international law Israel has turned prisons in to money making enterprises with the boys essentially forced to pay for their own imprisonment. Israel deliberately fails to provide Palestinian prisoners the basic essentials – edible food, cloths (underwear, shoes..) and hygiene products (soap, toothbrush..). The boys are forced to buy these at the extortionately priced prison shop costing the families over € 125/month to provide for one child’s basic needs in prison.
With no evidence of a crime the military court keeps on postponing the hearing dates from one month to the next, meanwhile the boys remain caged indefinitely and their families facing financial ruin in the process. The occupation in its cruelty doesn’t inform the families of cancellations. The families spend most of their day queuing and enduring the humiliation at the checkpoints, then waiting at the court in anticipation of catching a glimpse of their son.. only to be disappointed at the end. Not that evidence, or lack of it, has any bearing in an Israeli military court – a study conducted by the Israeli NGO ‘No Legal Frontiers’ over a 12 month period concluded that 100% of Palestinian children brought before the military court are convicted. If the five boys are convicted they will be locked up for over 25 years – five young lives ruined with no evidence of a crime let alone their guilt.
LIVE UPDATES DURING PROTEST
We will, inshAllah, be tweeting live (hash tags #FreeHaresBoys #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.
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