Freed lawyer Raouf Zoghbi: Megiddo prisoners will strike 22-23 June to free Bilal Kayed

raouf-zoghbiiA group of prisoners in Megiddo prison will go on a two-day hunger strike on 22 and 23 June in solidarity with Bilal Kayed as part of the ongoing program of strikes and protests throughout Israeli prisons, said Raouf Zoghbi, a lawyer from Jenin, upon his return to his hometown after six months of administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, in Megiddo.

Kayed was ordered on 13 June to six months imprisonment without charge or trial under administrative detention, immediately upon the expiration of his 14.5 year sentence in Israeli prisons. Palestinian prisoners have developed a plan of protests, including multiple two-day hunger strikes, leading up to an announced open hunger strike of Kayed’s imprisoned comrades of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine after 7 July.

Zoghbi denounced the administrative detention of Kayed, saying that prisoners view it as an attempt to set a precedent of indefinitely detaining, rather than releasing, Palestinian prisoners upon the expiration of their sentences. He said that the “message of the prisoners in Megiddo is the need for all to work hard to support the prisoners’ movement, experiencing horrible situations in all aspects, and especially to support the prisoner Bilal Kayed.”

Kayed was imprisoned in Megiddo for years and was a member of the prisoners’ leadership committee before being ordered to solitary confinement. He is curently being held in solitary confinement in Ramon prison.

Zoghbi said that the prisoners will continue to protest until the release of Kayed and the end of the policy of administrative detention.

Zoghbi, 23, was arrested on 19 December 2015, shortly following his graduation with a degree in law. He was ordered to six months’ administrative detention without charge or trial after nearly a month of interrogation, and was released on 16 June 2016.

Fellow lawyer and administrative detainee Bahaa Abdel-Rahman Zayoud was ordered once again to six months administrative detention without charge or trial. Zayoud is also from Jenin, and has been imprisoned without charge or trial since 18 December 2014. This is his fourth administrative detention order consecutively.