The global days of action for Bilal Kayed on 24-25 June saw events and activities around the world demanding freedom for the Palestinian prisoner as he enters his 14th day on hunger strike. Kayed, 35, was ordered to six months’ administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial – on 13 June, upon the expiration of his 14.5 year sentence.
Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have joined solidarity actions with Kayed, noting that his case presents a threat of setting a dangerous precedent that Palestinian prisoners, serving long sentences, may be held indefinitely under administrative detention. Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable and based on secret evidence; there are over 700 Palestinians currently held under administrative detention.
Kayed’s comrades in the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine have held multiple two-day hunger strikes demanding Kayed’s freedom, as well as other protests inside the prison. Multiple prisoners have launched open hunger strikes in solidarity with Kayed, and the PFLP prisoners have pledged to begin a collective hunger strike in early July if Kayed remains imprisoned. Mohammad Khandakja, 33, of the People’s Party, and Mousa Soufan, 42, who suffers from cancer and has engaged in strikes in protest of poor medical treatment – both imprisoned in Ramon prison with Kayed – have launched strikes in solidarity with Kayed’s demand for freedom. Just today, Kayed was transferred from Ramon to Ahli Kedar prison, once more in solitary confinement.
Around the world, over 150 Palestinian and international organizations joined the call for Kayed’s freedom, with actions and events sharing the information about Kayed’s case and calling for the end of administrative detention and freedom for Palestinian prisoners.
In New York City, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network protested on Friday, 24 June outside the offices of G4S, the massive security corporation that provides security systems, control rooms and equipment to Israeli prisons. Demanding Kayed’s freedom, protesters distributed information to passers-by and urged people to participate in a cross-United States action calling the White House to act about the situation of Bilal Kayed and fellow Palestinian prisoners, and end US aid to Israel.
In Vancouver, BDS Vancouver, accompanied by organizations including Canada Palestine Association, Independent Jewish Voices, the Young Communist League, ILPS Canada, Solidaridad con Ayatzinopa and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, protested outside the BC Liquor Stores on Saturday, 25 June as part of the “Boycott Israeli Wines” campaign. The protest urged customers to refuse to buy – and the provincial stores to refuse to sell – Israeli wines, noting that many also come from the occupied Golan. Protesters carried posters and leaflets about Palestinian prisoners, urging freedom for Bilal Kayed and his fellow prisoners.
In Dublin, multiple Irish organizations raised their voices to demand freedom for Bilal Kayed and his fellow Palestinian prisoners. On Saturday, 25 June, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) organized an information stall focusing on Bilal Kayed.
On Saturday afternoon, the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA) organized a demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in Dublin in solidarity with Kayed and his hunger striking comrades.
In Dublin on Sunday, 26 June, éirígí, the Irish republican socialist party, organized a protest in Dundrum, Dublin to demand freedom for Kayed, an end to administrative detention, and express support for the hunger strike.
éirígí held a mass leaflet drop in Dublin City Centre on Saturday, 25 June, distributing hundreds of leaflets produced by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. The leaflets highlighted the case of Bilal Kayed and the mass hunger strike by over 100 Palestinian Prisoners to demand his release.
Meanwhile, in Belfast, the IRPWA joined with éirígí for a vigil and protest for freedom for Bilal Kayed and his fellow Palestinian political prisoners outside the International Wall in Belfast.
éirígí also organized an information table in Galway, focusing on the campaign to free Bilal Kayed and Palestinian prisoners.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the Irish comrades and activists and joins the call to free Irish republican political prisoners.
In London, the Revolutionary Communist Group/Fight Racism Fight Imperialism held an event and information distribution regarding Kayed’s case on Saturday, 25 June.
In Brussels, the Raj’een Palestinian Folkloric Dance Troupe distributed materials about Palestinian prisoners and the campaign to Free Bilal Kayed alongside packets of dates, water, cheese and bread for breaking the fast in Molenbeek, Brussels, Belgium on Saturday, 25 June.
In The Hague, dozens of protesters marched through the city to the Drees Monument on Friday, 24 June, passing by the Israeli Embassy, demanding freedom for Kayed and an end to the misuse of state pension benefits for Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The action, organized by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, was supported by a dozen organizations.
In Amsterdam, on Saturday 25 June, the weekly protest for Palestine in Dam central square included speeches and literature distributions on the case of Bilal Kayed and the struggle to free Palestinian prisoners.
In Vienna, Austria, Handala Palestinian Cultural Center organized a demonstration in Stephansplatz in the center of the city, demanding freedom for Kayed and an end to administrative detention. Speakers from Palestinian and solidarity organizations urged action to free Palestinian prisoners and achieve justice for the Palestinian people.
In Torino, Italy, Invictapalestina joined a demonstration on 23 June, raising the call to free Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners. Under the slogan, “Freedom for all, from Val di Susa (Susa Valley) to Palestine,” InvictaPalestina carried posters, flyers and banners for Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners as part of a demonstration in support of the “NO TAV” movement. The NO TAV movement is a campaign in Italy’s Susa Valley against a proposed high-speed rail line that threatens environmental damage, and which is alleged to be linked to corruption and corporate profiteering; the movement has faced criminalization, “terrorist” labeling and prosecution, and police repression.
In Milan, Fronte Palestina Milan participated in the national union workers’ festival, reading a statement from the stage calling for action and solidarity to free Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners on 24 June. In L’Aquila, Fronte Palestina joined a protest on 25 June against “hard prisons” and administrative deention, denouncing the “41bis” prison regime in Italy used against so-called “terror” detainees. They presented the statement urging the freedom of Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners.
In Toulouse, France, anti-imperialist collective Coup Pour Coup 31 distributed leaflets and displayed a banner calling for freedom for Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners in the city and on various highways and roads around the city on 25 June.
In Paris, on 19 June, calls to Free Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners were prominently displayed and spoken about at the national march for freedom for Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, as hundreds demanded the freedom of Abdallah, held for 32 years in French prisons.
In Athens, Greece, Palestinian leader Leila Khaled kicked off the annual Resistance Festival with a powerful speech urging international action to free Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and other activists for Palestine participated in the Festival with banners and materials urging freedom for Kayed; festival guests including Figen Yuksekdag, vice-chair of the HDP in Turkey; Sofia Sakorafa, Greek Member of European Parliament and former Olympic athlete; Farid Fernandez, Venezuelan Ambassador to Greece; and international delegations from the Basque Country, Norway, Argentina and Italy joined the call to Free Bilal Kayed.
In Berlin, Germany, the Democratic Palestine Committees organized a protest in solidarity with Kayed on 18 June, gathering at the Brandenburg Gate with literature and information about Kayed’s case, demanding his immediate release, an end to administrative detention, and the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners. The Democratic Palestine Committee will be organizing another solidarity action in support of Kayed on Thursday, 30 June.
In Denmark, the Internationalt Forum/Middle East Group issued a statement and call to action urging support for Kayed and an end to administrative detention; while in Sweden, the newspaper Proletaren reported on Kayed’s case and the international actions taking place demanding his freedom.
Organizations and activists around the world translated materials for Bilal Kayed’s freedom campaign.
Bilal Kayed is continuing his hunger strike as his comrades plan their ongoing steps of protest. Just today, 27 June, he was transferred to isolation in Ahli Kedar prison, where he is held in solitary confinement. Now is the time to not only continue, but to escalate all of our actions internationally to demand freedom for Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners!
The Call to Action and endorsers:
Call to Action: 24-25 June – Days of Action to Free Bilal Kayed and End Administrative Detention
On 13 June, Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayed was slated for release after 14 and one-half years in Israeli prison. His family was waiting for him, as were his comrades and friends; however, Bilal never came – because instead of being released, he had been ordered by the Israeli occupation military to six months in administrative detention without charge or trial. He is now on an open hunger strike which he launched the morning of 15 June – demanding his freedom and an end to administrative detention.
Bilal Kayed, 35, is one of approximately 750 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence under administrative detention, and 7,000 Palestinians total in occupation prisons. Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable – Palestinians can spend years in administrative detention at a time, never knowing when they will be freed.
Kayed is known as a leader among Palestinian prisoners – as the representative of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine prisoners in Megiddo prison, he was targeted for solitary confinement for one and a half years. His fellow Palestinian prisoners are engaged in a series of protests and actions to demand his release and will be conducting their third two-day hunger strike on 24 and 25 June, returning their meals to demand Kayed’s freedom and and an end to administrative detention.
This is an attempt to impose a precedent for all Palestinian prisoners – that on the date of release, after five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years in prison, rather than being released, Palestinian prisoners be held indefinitely without charge or trial, ordered to administrative detention. The denial of Bilal Kayed’s freedom is a threat to the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners.
The detention of Kayed, a prisoner leader, scheduled for release; Mohammed Abu Sakha, circus performer and teacher; Jerusalemite human rights defender Hasan Safadi; youth organizer Bilal Abu Diab; members of the Palestinian Legislative Council such as Abdel-Jaber Fuquha and Hatem Kufaisha; journalist and union leader Omar Nazzal – amid hundreds more, indicate the level of Israeli state impunity to lock away Palestinian emerging leaders and prominent community figures without charge or trial. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have put their bodies and lives on the lines in extended hunger strikes to demand an end to administrative detention.
We raise our voices around the world to join the call to free Bilal Kayed and all of his fellow administrative detainees and bring an end to the practice of administrative detention. We call for the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners – and for the cause for which they struggle, the freedom of Palestine and its people.
We join the call for protests, actions and events around the world on 24 and 25 June in support of the Palestinian prisoners striking for freedom and urge organizations and people of conscience everywhere to join in actions to demand freedom for Bilal Kayed and his fellow prisoners, including building the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to internationally isolate Israel, its institutions, and the corporations – like G4S -that profit from imprisonment, occupation, racism, colonialism and injustice.
Free Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian Prisoners!
End Administrative Detention!
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Abna’a el-Balad Movement – Palestine
Actions4Palestine – Toronto, Canada
AFPS Association France Palestine Solidarité
Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition NY
Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition – US
Alternative Information Center
Asociación Palestina BILADI
Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) – India
Association of Academics for the Respect of International Law in Palestine – AURDIP
Association of the Palestinian Community in Scotland
Associazione Amicizia Sardegna Palestina
BDS Action Calgary
BDS Turkey (Filistin Için Israil’e Boykot Girisimi)
Belgian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BACBI)
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS)
Byron Friends of Palestine
Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon
Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
Campaign to Free Georges Ibrahim Abdallah
Canada Palestine Association
CAPJPO – EuroPalestine
Cátedra de Estudiso Palestinos Edward W. Said
Citizens International – Malaysia
Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (Sydney)
Collectif Judeo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine
Collettivo Autogestito CASAROSSA40
Comité Palestina Libre / Uruguay
Comite Salta de solidaridad con Palestina
Committee of the Greater ABC/SP of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – Brazil
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Committees for a Democratic Palestine – Brazil
Communist Party, Sweden
Contemporary Lawyers Association (Çagdas Hukukçular Dernegi)
Corvallis-Albany Palestine Solidarity
Coup Pour Coup 31
Democratic Lawyers’ Alliance – Palestine
Democratic Palestine Committees – Germany
docP (Diensten en Onderzoek Centrum Palestina , Netherlands)
Education Equals Making Community Connections
European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP)
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor
Faculty for Palestine (Canada)
February 20 Movement – USA
Filipino Refugees in the Netherlands
Finnish-Arab Friendship Society
Football Against Apartheid
Freedom Road Socialist Organization
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)
Friends of Ain el-Helweh, Grenoble
Gaza Action Ireland
Gerechtigkeit und Frieden für Palästina
Gesellschaft Schweiz Palästina
Grandmothers for Peace
Groupe Non-Violent LOUIS LECOIN
Grupo de Tecnología Alternativa S.C.
Gruppo Azione Palestina – Parma
Handala Center for Prisoners and Former Prisoners
Handala Cultural Center – Vienna
Hilton Head for Peace
Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (Türkiye Insan Haklari Vakfi)
Human Rights Institute – Bratislava, Slovakia
Human Rights March – Denmark
Hunter College Students for Justice in Palestine
Initiative for a Just Peace in the Middle East – Slovakia
International Action Center
International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
International League of Peoples Struggle in Canada
International Movement for a Just World (JUST)
International Solidarity Movement – Palestine
International Solidarity Movement – Northern California
International Solidarity Movement Czech Republic group
Internationalt Forum/Middle East Group
InvictaPalestina – Torino
Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association
Isçi Demokrasisi Partisi (IDP)
Jewish Voice for Peace, San Diego
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Labor for Palestine
LADH (Liga Argentina de los Derechos del Hombre)
Landless Workers ‘ Movement (MST) – Brazil
Lefterianews – Greece
Left Perspective – Czech Republic
Leuvense Actiegroep Palestina
Libertarian Lawyers Association (Özgürlükçü Hukukçular Dernegi)
London Palestine Action
Los Otros Judios
Merton PSC – London
Mouvement Citoyen Palestine
National Jericho Movement
National Lawyers Guild – Palestine Subcommittee
Netherlands Palestine Committee (NPK)
New York City Students for Justice in Palestine
Northeast Political Prisoner Coalition
NY 4 Palestine Coalition
NYC Free Peltier
NYC Friends of MOVE
Palästinensische Kulturzentrum Schweiz
Palestijnse Gemeenschap in Nederland
Palestina Kommitee Rotterdam
Palestine Platform Human Rights and Solidarity (PPMS)
Palestine Solidarity Campaign of South Africa
Palestinian Arab Cultural Center in Brazil – Rio Grande do Sul
Palestinian Arab Cultural Center in Brazil – Sao Paulo
Palestinian Arab Society – Corumba (Brazil)
Palestinian Child and Youth Institute – Lebanon
Palestinian Club in the Czech Republic
Palestinian Democratic Coalition – Chicago
Palestinian Documentation Center
Palestinian Prisoners’ Committee – Palestine
Palestinian Youth Organization
Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la Palestine
Philippines-Palestine Friendship Association
Progressive Palestinian Youth Union – Palestine
Progressive Student Labor Front – Palestine
Proletaren FF, sports club, Sweden
Raja’een Folkloric Dance Troupe
Red Sparks Union
Release Aging People in Prison
Resistance for Free Palestine – Greece
Revolutionary Communist Group/Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!
Revolutionary Communist Youth, Sweden
Sawt al-Shaab (Voice of the People Radio) – Palestine
Solidarity with Novorossiya and Antifascists in Ukraine – NYC
Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine
Studenten Voor Rechtvaardigheid in Palestina- Nijmegen
Studenten voor Rechtvaardigheid in Palestina (SRP) – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
SJP at Sacramento State University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Maastricht
Students for Justice in Palestine at the College of Staten Island
Students For Justice in Palestine – Rotterdam
UDAP – Unione Democratica Arabo-Palestinese
UJFP French Jewish Union for Peace
Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees – Palestine
United for Palestine
USC Students for Justice in Palestine
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
Voice of Palestine
West Valley Neighborhoods Coalition
Women In Black International(Seattle USA chapter)
Women in Black (Vienna)
Women in Black The Netherlands