The following statement was issued by the Landless Workers Movement (MST) of Brazil, a mass social movement, formed by rural workers and by all those who want to fight for land reform and against injustice and social inequality in rural areas. With an estimated 1.5 million members, the movement has led more than 2,500 land occupations, with about 370,000 families – families that today settled on 7.5 million hectares of land that they won as a result of the occupations. Through their organizing, these families continue to push for schools, credit for agricultural production and cooperatives, and access to health care. The MST statement also focuses on the case of Islam Hamed, a Brazilian Palestinian citizen formerly imprisoned by Israel and today held in Palestinian Authority prisons and engaging in a hunger strike (Facebook page for the Free Islam Hamed campaign):
A Statement from the Brazilian Landless Workers’ Movement (MST)
Free Ahmad Sa’adat, Khalida Jarrar, Islam Hamed and all political prisoners in Israeli and Palestinian Authority jails!
São Paulo, June 19th, 2015.
The Landless Rural Workers’ Movement – MST (Brazil), reaffirms its position of solidarity with the Palestinian people and their legitimate organizations in the struggle to free all political prisoners jailed for taking part in the national liberation movement against Israeli occupation. The struggle of the Palestinian People for national independence, sovereignty, self-determination and justice, is, today, internationally recognized as a cause of all the peoples, a cause of all humanity. To struggle against Israeli occupation in Palestine is not only an inalienable right of these heroic people, but also a right of all men and women that in any place on this planet are against this genocidal policy and ethnic cleansing imposed by successive Israeli governments since 1948.
Khalida Jarrar, feminist activist for human rights and Palestinian parliamentarian arrested on April 2nd 2015, is among the 6,000 Palestinian prisoners including 240 children. Many of them are suffering from serious diseases and have no access to any treatment, which, in effect, means being sentenced to death. Some of them are elderly people. There are also around 600 prisoners that go through a period of administrative detention without any legal justification or accusation, except for the use of a British military decree from the times of the British colonization in Palestine 70 years ago.
The case of Islam Hamed
We demand that the Brazilian government takes responsibility and returns this citizen safely to Brazil. The Brazilian-Palestinian Islam Hamed, 30 years old, is on hunger-strike for more than 60 days. He was in an Israeli prison and now he’s in a jail of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, occupied West Bank.
The MST joins the international movement in solidarity with this Palestinian prisoner in struggle for justice and freedom. We demand that the Brazilian government, responsible for the health and security of this Brazilian citizen, intensifies its efforts so that Islam can immediately return safely to Brazil to meet his family that has been waiting for him. The Brazilian government must act to fulfill this humanitarian objective: save the life of a Brazilian citizen unjustly imprisoned abroad.
Dilma’s government made efforts to defend the physical and moral integrity of many Brazilian citizens abroad, in very different situations from the one Islam Hamed finds himself, because this is a man in struggle for justice and for the compliance of UN Resolutions regarding the
Palestinian quest. It is a duty of the government to take on publicly the defence of this just cause.
Free Ahmad Sa’adat, Khalida Jarrar, Islam Hamed and all Palestinian prisoners!
End the Israeli occupation! Free Palestine!