Fronte Palestina, a Palestine support organization in Italy, issued a statement in support of former Palestinian prisoner Omar Nayef Zayed, currently taking refuge in the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria. The Israeli state is seeking his extradition from Bulgaria – where Zayed has lived for the past 22 years with his Bulgarian wife and children, since he escaped from Israeli custody in 1990.
There is an international campaign to defend Zayed and all former Palestinian prisoners, being sought relentlessly for further persecution by the Israeli occupation.
The Fronte Palestina statement reads: (see the Italian statement)
We stand in solidarity with Comrade Omar Nayef Zayed, Palestinian struggler who took refuge in Bulgaria 22 years ago. Zayed was arrested in 1986 and sentenced to life imprisonment by a Zionist court but in 1990 managed to escape from the hands of his captors, taking refuge in Bulgaria.
On 15 December 2015, the Zionist government requested the extradition, after which Bulgarian authorities went to the home of the comrade to arrest him, but did not find him there. Omar Nayef Zayed then proceeded to seek asylum at the embassy of the Palestinian National Authority’s Diplomatic Representation in Sofia, where he remains now.
What is happening is clearly another political attack on former Palestinian prisoners, as happened with the arrest of Rasmea Odeh in the United States on 22 October 2013. The persecution of Zayed is yet another attempt to criminalize the Palestinian people, diaspora communities and political exiles. It is no surprise that this takes place in Europe in a climate of emergency and the “war on terror,” adopting the Zionist model of repression, social control and armored borders.
The comrades of the Fronte Palestina join international calls to mobilize, especially at the Bulgarian diplomatic representations (embassies and consulates) to oppose the extradition of Omar Nayef Zayed to the so-called “justice” of the Zionist colonial enterprise and to pressure to ensure that the PNA diplomatic representatives do not allow his deportation or extradition.
It is clear that the Zionist entity’s extradition request demonstrates that they want to persecute Palestinian militants everywhere, while in occupied Palestine they continue to carry out devastating projects of ethnic cleansing and savage mass repression.
The cause of Omar is the same as that of the approximately 6800 Palestinian political prisoners who resist in Zionist jails, in support of which Fronte Palestina is organizing a solidarity campaign since October 2014, including policy initiatives, mobilization, support and fundraising.
In the current phase, in which we again see the Palestinian people confronting the occupier through the intifada, we think it is important to reinvigorate the campaign, as a concrete contribution to those who have been able to transform places of detention and suppression into barricades of resistance.
NO EXTRADITION OF OMAR NAYEF ZAYED!
FREEDOM FOR ALL PALESTINIAN PRISONERS!
The statement from Fronte Palestina followed a one-day conference organized by the group in Rome, which included discussions of Palestinian political prisoners as well as the case of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, Arab struggler for Palestine, which was discussed by Coup Pour Coup 31 over Skype from France. Abdallah has been imprisoned for 32 years in French prisons; there is a large French, Lebanese and international campaign for his freedom. Other speakers addressed the current situation in Palestine and the region: