Bilal Kayed rejects offer of deportation in exchange for freedom, continues hunger strike for 18th day


Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayed, on hunger strike since 15 June in protest of his administrative detention without charge or trial following the completion of his 14.5 year sentence in Israeli prisons on 13 June, rejected an Israeli offer to deport him in exchange for his release from prison, said the Prisoners’ Affairs Committee on Saturday, 2 July.

On hunger strike for eighteen days now, in isolation in Ahli Kedar prison, Kayed declared that any offers of deportation are unacceptable and his imprisonment is illegitimate, and that he will continue his hunger strike until his detention is ended and he is freed.

Palestinian prisoners affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine are engaged in a series of protest steps demanding Kayed’s release. Prisoners across political lines are protesting in support of Kayed, noting that his case threatens a dangerous precedent of indefinitely detaining Palestinian prisoners after the completion of lengthy sentences.

Protests are taking place in various cities and refugee camps in Palestine in support of Kayed’s strike, demanding his release. At the protest in support of Kayed on Saturday night in Arroub refugee camp, former hunger striker and Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq spoke, demanding Kayed’s freedom. Al-Qeeq engaged in a 94-day hunger strike to win his freedom from administrative detention without charge or trial in late 2015 and early 2016.

Kayed is one of over 700 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention. Administrative detention orders are issued for one to six months at a time and are indefinitely renewable; they are issued and confirmed without charge or trial, on the basis of secret evidence.

International protests took place around the world on 24 and 25 June demanding Kayed’s freedom, and Samidoun is urging participation in a new week of action on 8-15 July demanding freedom for Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners.