25TH APR 2016 – PEN : NO PARTNERSHIP WITH APARTHEID – FREE PALESTINIAN POETS & JOURNALISTS
DATE: Mon 25th April 2016 3pm-5pm
LOCATION: English PEN, Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Rd, London EC1R 3GA
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1694338370817131/
Organized by Inminds Palestinian Prisoners Campaign: www.inminds.com
Please join us outside the Free Word Centre in Farringdon, the headquarters of English PEN – the founding centre of PEN International – “the worldwide writers’ association which promotes the freedom to write and the freedom to read”, as we respectfully ask them to distance themselves from its sister organisation American PEN which, in breach of the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel, has partnered with the Israeli Embassy and taken apartheid money for a literary festival which begins on the 25th April 2016. Oppressed writers rights are not served by partnerships with the oppressor. American PEN list the Embassy of Israel among the “Champions” of the World Voices Festival. This at a time when Israel is targeting Palestinian poets, journalists and bloggers.
We will urge English PEN, in accordance with its remit to “uphold writers freedoms around the world”, to champion Palestinian poets, journalists and bloggers who are currently being targeted by the illegal Israeli occupation forces.
In particular we will raise the case Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour who was arrested last October and has been caged for 3 months at Israel’s infamous rat infested HaSharon prison for her poem “Resist, my people, resist them”. Currently she is under draconian house arrest in an apartment in Tel Aviv with banning orders from connecting to the internet and communicating with certain people. She has guards and an electronic tagging device attached to her ankle. She is not permitted to return her home in Reineh.
Her poem draws attention to the violent attacks on her people by the occupation, including the arson attack that killed the 18-month-old baby Ali Dawabsha and his parents in Duma, a village in the occupied West Bank, last year; the killing of 18-year-old Hadil Hashlamoun by Israeli soldiers in Hebron, also last year; and the kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khudair in Jerusalem during 2014. Tatour says “It is ironic, but not surprising, that I was sent to jail for protesting the killing of my people whereas actual Israeli killers roam free”.
Recently over 150 bloggers have been arrested for their facebook posts which the illegal Israeli occupation forces have found objectionable. Also around 20 Palestinian journalists are currently imprisoned for their journalism. These include 25 years old Samah Dweik who was abducted in the night from her home on 10th April 2016 when Israeli occupation forces broke into her family home in Ras al-Amoud in eastern Occupied Jerusalem. The occupation objected to a facebook post.
Another case we will raise is that of Palestinian Journalists Syndicate leader Omar Nazzal who was arrested yesterday (23rd April 2016) by the occupation forces whilst on his way to an international meeting of the European Federation of Journalists taking place in Sarajevo on 25th April – the same day PEN’s World Voices Festival starts where Israel is honoured as a “Champion”.
LIVE UPDATES DURING PROTEST
We will, inshAllah, be tweeting live 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.
If you support this activity please share this alert widely, thank you.
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.