Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – Europe participated in a demonstration in Brussels, Belgium on 27 December, marking the anniversary of Israel’s “Cast Lead” assault on Gaza in 2009. The demonstration, organized by Mouvement Citoyen Palestine, gathered at Brussels’ Avenue Stalingrad to express support for the Palestinian resistance and the intifada, to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, to demand freedom for Palestinian political prisoners and justice and freedom for Palestine.
Samidoun activists carried posters of Omar Nayef Zayed, the Palestinian liberated prisoner who is now being pursued for extradition by the Israeli state after living 22 years in Bulgaria. Omar Zayed is threatened once again with Israeli torture and imprisonment, and it is a priority for Palestinian and solidarity activists across Europe to demand that the extradition request for Omar be denied by the Bulgarian state, as this is a political matter and Omar is a former Palestinian political prisoner. Calling for “Justice for Omar,” activists highlighted his case and the campaign in solidarity with him, noting that his case is not individual but carries serious implications for Palestinians throughout Europe, in particular former political prisoners. To take action for Omar, please click here: http://samidoun.net/2015/12/urgent-action-stop-extradition-of-omar-nayef-zayed-former-palestinian-prisoner-from-bulgaria/
Demonstrators chanted in solidarity with the Palestinian people and against European complicity with Israeli crimes, demanding freedom for Palestinian prisoners and for Palestine, from the river to the sea. Youth, families and children participated in the protest, leading the chanting and carrying large Palestinian flags and banners.
Khaled Barakat, Palestinian writer and activist and the coordinator of the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat spoke at the event, urging support for the current intifada rising up in Palestine and for the Palestinian people’s struggle, and emphasizing the importance of international solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, demanding their freedom.
The protest, calling for an end to the blockade on Gaza, the demolition of the Apartheid Wall, the end of Israeli occupation, the right of return of Palestinian refugees, freedom for all Palestinian prisoners, and support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and for the Palestinian resistance, was endorsed by Mouvement citoyen Belgique, Le Comité Verviers Palestine, ESG asbl, Fewla Lutte Mapuche, Bruxelles Panthères, Comité des parents contre les violences policières à Molenbeek, La Nouvelle Voie Anticoloniale, Ligue Communiste des Travailleurs – Communistische Werkersbond, JOC Wallonie-Bruxelles, and Palestina Solidariteit.
Photos by Charlotte Kates, Mahmoud Alsaadi, Cecile Harnie: