The Communist Party of Sweden’s central committee issued a statement, published in Proletaren newspaper, calling for the release of Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners; the party also urged anti-imperialist and pro-Palestinian organizations in Sweden to join the call.
Bilal Kayed, 34, is a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike for 45 days, since 15 June 2016. He launched his strike after he was not released on 13 June after completing his 14.5-year sentence in Israeli prisons; instead, he was ordered to an indefinitely-renewable six months of administrative detention without charge or trial. Today, he is shackled hand and foot to his hospital bed in Barzilai hospital under constant guard despite severe physical pain, weakness, and weight loss. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are involved in solidarity actions in support of his demand for freedom, and protests and actions are growing across occupied Palestine and around the world.
The Communist Party of Sweden also held a solidarity meeting as an part of its annual summer camp; the meeting took place on 23 July, in the city of Lysekil with a heavy tourist presence in the summer. Communist Party chair Robert Mathiasson spoke about Bilal Kayed and the Palestinian prisoners, while well-known Swedish activist Eva Hammad, once severely wounded in the Palestinian refugee camp of Tel al Zaatar in Lebanon, spoke as well at the public gathering.
The statement follows below (English translation, original in Swedish):
Free Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners!
In the shadow of high profile terror attacks in Europe the state terrorism of Israel against the Palestinian people continues day in day out. Part of that terror is the multitude of Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons. Their only crime is that they resist an illegal occupation.
Many have been convicted in unfair trials or havent been tried at all. It’s more and more common that Israeli authorities put Palestinians in so called administrative detention, the occupying power gives itself the right to keep people in jail without neither prosecution nor trial. In total approximately 750 Palestinians are held in administrative detention.
The Palestinian Bilal Kayed was supposed to be released on June 13 after having spent 14,5 years of his 35 year long life in the prisons of the occupying power Israel. But his family, friends and party comrades waited in vain outside the prison.
Instead of releasing him the occupying power decided to put Bilal Kayed in administrative detention.
The solidarity network for the Palestinian prisoners Samidoun warn that by doing so Israel is trying to set a new precedent to be able to keep Palestinians in prison after they have served their sentence.
Bilal Kayed is a famous spokesman for the Palestinian prisoners and the Marxist PFLP. After his cancelled release he started a hunger strike which is still going on. Samidoun have taken the initiative to a petition and global days of action demanding Kayed’s release and an end to the use of administrative detention. Activities on July 24 – 25 take place both in the occupied Palestine and in other parts of the world.
Among the more than a hundred organisations that have signed the petition are Kommunistiska Partiet (Communist Party) and RKU (Revolutionary Communist Youth). The movement for Bilal Kayed’s and all Palestinian prisoners’ release is growing which is extremely important.
Important because the struggling Palestinian prisoners know in their isolation that there are comrades all over the world that support them. Comrades that are saying: Continue the struggle – a struggle that is about so much more than your own freedom! Your fight is also the fight of the entire Palestinian people and ultimately a fight for every peoples’ freedom. Your struggle against the occupation and oppression of Israel is also a struggle against the oppression of imperialism.
That is why Kommunistiska Partiet and RKU as a part of the solidarity meeting on Saturday July 23 in Lysekil in connection with the communists’ summer camp, will demand the release of Bilal Kayed and all Palestinan prisoners. We call upon all progressive and anti-imperialist forces to support the main demands of the campaign:
o Free Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian
o End administrative detention!