Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network has received a number of international statements of support and solidarity for hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian prisoners’ movement. We encourage Palestine solidarity, trade union, women’s, political, social and other organizations and parties to issue statements in support of the hunger strikers and the Palestinian prisoners’ strike for dignity and freedom.
Please send these organizational or collective statements to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on Facebook.
World Federation of Trade Unions | Eirigi | Internationalt Forum (Denmark) | Ex-Robben Island Political Prisoners Veterans association (EPPA) | Jewish Voice for Peace | Black4Palestine | Ahmad Kathrada Foundation | Federation of Greek Women | Unified Campaign for the Liberation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah | Socialist Republicans for Palestine | Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council | Non-Aligned Movement | International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network | International Trade Union Confederation | Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition | Saoradh
World Federation of Trade Unions
Published at http://www.wftucentral.org/resolution-of-the-wftu-on-palestinian-prisoners-day/
On the occasion of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day on 17th of April, the World Federation of Trade Unions, representing 92 million workers in 126 countries all over the world, expresses its firm internationalist solidarity with the more than 6700 Palestinians, including 389 children and 56 women, currently imprisoned by the Israeli occupation forces.
We strongly denounce the imprisonment of the Palestinian people by Israel, the inhumane detention conditions and the acts of abuse like the violent beatings against our Palestinian brothers and sisters and we demand the immediate release of all Palestinian prisoners and the end of Israel’s arrest campaigns, aggressiveness and occupation of the Palestinian territories.
The Irish socialist republican party, Éirígí, extends its solidarity and support to all those Palestinian political prisoners currently on mass hunger-strike since Monday 17 April.
The reasonable demands of the political prisoners – encapsulated under the banner of ‘Freedom and Dignity‘ – are based upon basic and legitimate human rights and include: the right to family visits; the right to proper medical care; an end to administrative detention (the equivalent to internment without charge or trial); an end to solitary confinement; and an end to physical and psychological abuses.
The ongoing failure of the international community to enforce effective political and economic sanctions against, or impose a military embargo upon, the apartheid Israel state following decades of repeated war-crimes against the Palestinian people remains a major contributory factor in sustaining that unjust Zionist regime.
That failure by the international community is also complicit in denying the Palestinian people their right to freedom and self-determination.
Throughout our own history of resistance to British rule in Ireland, we are acutely aware of the consequences of the hunger-strike as a weapon of last resort by political prisoners.
We know that the collective and unified decision to embark on a mass hunger-strike involving more than 1,300 prisoners, agreed by all Palestinian groupings, is one which has not been taken lightly.
Both the Palestinian and Irish struggles for national liberation have shared experiences and history.
One hundred years ago in 1917, the British government’s Balfour Declaration, was instrumental in creating the conditions which led to the catastrophes, misery and injustice which the Palestinian people have suffered since that time.
We are also conscious, at this time of mass struggle within the prisons, that 2017 marks other tragic and crucial moments in the history of the Palestinian people, including:
- The 70th anniversary of the 1947 UN Partition Plan
- The 50th anniversary of Israel’s invasion and occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Gaza and Golan in 1967
- The 30th anniversary of the commencement of the First Intifada which began in Gaza in 1987 and spread rapidly through all the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Éirígí encourages our members, supporters and friends to intensify their efforts in support of the Palestinian campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Israeli state and to support the ongoing struggle by Palestinian political prisoners.
Internationalt Forum (Denmark)
Support Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike
Over 1500 Palestinian political prisoners on April 17 launched a collective hunger strike – under the slogan “Freedom and Dignity”. The strike is a protest against the violation of the prisoners’ human rights in Israeli jails, and their demands are: Stop administrative detention (imprisonment without charge or trial), stop solitary confinement, right to appropriate medical care and right to visit of family and friends.
Today Israeli jails hold about 6.500 Palestinian political prisoners, hereunder 300 children and 600 under administrative detention. There is a long history of collective hunger strikes in Israeli jails organized by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Movement, stretching back decades. Since the Nakba in 1948 where Palestine was colonized by the Zionist movement and one million Palestinian forcibly expelled, more than one million Palestinians have been confined in Zionist prisons.
It is very important to support the hunger strike of the Palestinian prisoners and their just demands. But at the same time it is important to support the rights which they are fighting for. To support the struggle against the Israeli occupation and apartheid and for a free Palestine.
We in Internationalt Forum, The Middle East Group, express our deepest solidarity with the hunger striking Palestinian political prisoners and support their just demands.
At the same time it must be deeply criticized that the Palestinian Authority (PA) – as a consequence of the Oslo agreement’s “security collaboration” between Israel and the PA – assists the occupier Israel in the imprisonment of Palestinian freedom fighters.
Free all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails
Boycott Israel – Stop every collaboration between the PA and the occupier Israel
Fight Zionism and imperialism
Internationalt Forum, The Middle East Group– facebook.com/freemiddleeast
Ex-Robben Island Political Prisoners Veterans association (EPPA)
The EPPA, together with all freedom loving people and progressive forces inside South Africa will embark on a number of solidarity activities in support of the fight for better living conditions in all Israeli apartheid jails.
We unconditionally support all the demands made by our brothers and sisters in those dark prison cells and strongly condemn the illegal detention of women and children, as well as all political prisoners incarcerated in Israeli prisons.
The EPPA calls on all political prisoners and detainees to unite and fight against these draconian laws of arbitrary detention without trial and an end to solitary confinement and demand the following rights, under the auspices of the United Nations and The International Committee of the Red Cross.
– – The right to education, books and all reading material – The right to better medical aid – The right to family visits, especially contact visits on a weekly basis – The right to nutritious food, and letters from families – The right to play sport, music and partake in cultural activities – The right to cook their own food as we did on Robben Island.
A mass, coordinated hunger strike was a powerful and legitimate weapon to use against the Israeli prison authorities in their demand for basic human rights in prison.
The EPPA further appealed to the Red Cross, and the International Defence Aid Fund, to intervene on behalf of the prisoners and ensure that the Geneva Convention protocol on the rights of prisoners of war was observed by the Israel Prison Authorities – as was done by the humanitarian organisations when the apartheid government controlled South Africa.
The association wishes to extend revolutionary greetings to one of the Palestinian icons, a freedom fighter, a political prisoner of conscience and a revolutionary leader, Marwan Barghouthi.
We strongly believe that Comrade Marwan, who is leading the hunger strike, will turn it into a decisive victory for all political prisoners.
Jewish Voice for Peace
Published at: https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/saluting-palestinian-prisoners-hunger-strike/
SALUTING THE PALESTINIAN PRISONERS ON HUNGER STRIKE
A prisoner hunger strike is a protest of the last resort.
This week, over 1000 Palestinian prisoners launched the largest collective hunger strike in years, on the occasion of marking 50 years of military occupation & nearly 70 years of Israel’s displacement & imprisonment of Palestinians. Their demands are simple, including: reinstating visitation rights, installing phones, improving medical care, and ending solitary confinement and administrative detention (the practice of holding prisoners for indefinite periods without charge or trial).
Since the occupation of 1967, roughly 20% of the Palestinian population has been imprisoned by the occupying power at one point or another. The Palestinian prisoners organization Addameer reports that Israel currently holds approximately 6300 Palestinian political prisoners, including 300 children and approximately 56 women as well as an estimated 500 Palestinians in administrative detention (including 2 children).
This hunger strike comes in a long tradition of hunger strikes and prisoners strikes as nonviolent protest tactics used by movements for liberation around the world.
As Marwan Barghouti wrote in The New York Times this week: “Decades of experience have proved that Israel’s inhumane system of colonial and military occupation aims to break the spirit of prisoners and the nation to which they belong, by inflicting suffering on their bodies, separating them from their families and communities, using humiliating measures to compel subjugation. In spite of such treatment, we will not surrender to it.”
As Barghouti noted, Israel has a tendency to brand all forms of resistance to its military occupation as terrorism, a tendency evidenced by Israeli MK Michael Oren calling the op-ed itself a “journalistic terror attack.” As punishment for publishing the op-ed, Mr. Barghouti was placed in solitary confinement.
In a legal system where all forms of protest are being criminalized, it is not surprising that the Israeli Prison Service stated that strikes & protests will be punished, or that Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at protesters in solidarity with the strike outside Ofer prison, or that the Israeli state is refusing to negotiate with the striking prisoners.
As Jewish Voice for Peace launches Deadly Exchange, a national campaign to end Israeli and U.S. law enforcement exchanges, we acknowledge our government’s role as a partner in the repression and punishment of political prisoners in Palestine, and its own contemporary and historic repression of political prisoners. We oppose the rubber-coated bullets and teargas in Palestine, just as we oppose its use at Standing Rock.
Striking under the banner of Freedom and Dignity for a future free of occupation and oppression, we salute the brave women, men and children who are participating in and supporting the hunger strike.
“I am hunger striking today in support of Palestinian liberation and self-determination, in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners and those under occupation. I stand and fight against the actions of the Israeli state and police department, and against Zionism and imperialism.”
One of our members in New York fasted today in solidarity with the 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners currently on hunger strike to protest their maltreatment and the oppression of the Palestinian people. Their demands are below:
#PalestinianPrisonersDay #EndImperialism #Black4Palestine
Originally published at: http://www.blackforpalestine.com/blog/black4palestine-solidarity-1500-palestinian-prisoners-on-hunger-strike
We recognize the violence of Israel’s ongoing use of administrative detention to create political prisoners and stifle Palestinian resistance. As fighters for Black Liberation we understand the support and release of Political Prisoners as a core organizing principle and commitment. We understand that fighting Israel’s occupation and illegitimacy requires that we fight back against the criminalization and imprisonment of Palestinians. Israel thrives off of the incarceration of Palestinians and Africans and Africans (mostly from Sudan and Eritrea), targeting both populations due to the “demographic threats” they pose to the state.
Similar to the experience of our Palestinian comrades, the United States government continuously tries to silence and neutralize our liberation movement through incarceration and targeted assassination. The US has readily used force feeding, a practice recognized as torture by the UN, to neutralize prisoners on hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay. We know that Israel is ready to do the same, with its supreme court recently deeming force feeding a constitutional practice.
We urge our people to understand that prisons are institutions of social control against poor and oppressed communities and a way of suppressing movements based in human rights in the US and Palestine. The largest purveyors of violence and crime (the war machines of the US and Israel) remain free, while we are imprisoned for trying to exist or resist in the violent world that they create.
As participants in the Black Liberation Movement and Indigenous Sovereignty Movement approach 40 and 50 years of imprisonment by the United States, we reiterate a call for the freedom of all our political prisoners from Pennsylvania to Palestine.
We also wish to honor Rasmea Odeh, a survivor of Israeli sexual assault, torture, and political imprisonment, as she ends a chapter of being targeted and harassed by the US government. We salute Rasmea, who has been a vocal advocate for Palestine and for the Black struggle in the US wherever she goes. We salute all the unnamed Palestinian women who have experienced sexual assault by Israel, to the women prisoners, and to the women who maintain their homes while their children and husbands are behind bars.
United we fight against prisons, united we fight for Palestine, and united we fight for the people!
Ahmed Kathrada Foundation
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation reiterates its support for Palestinian political prisoners, over a thousand of whom have embarked on a hunger strike.
Palestinians from across political lines began an indefinite hunger strike in Israeli jails today, marking Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.
The hunger strike has been spearheaded by jailed Palestinian leader, Marwan Barghouthi. Known as the ‘Palestinian Mandela’, Barghouthi was last year nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. On April 15, Barghouthi marked his 15th consecutive year in prison after being sentenced to five life terms in jail by Israel.
In 2013, anti-apartheid struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada and Barghouthi’s wife, Fadwa, launched a global campaign on Robben Island calling for the release of Barghouthi and all Palestinian political prisoners. Over the last five decades about 800 000 Palestinians have been jailed by Israel; some 6500 are currently behind bars.
Neeshan Balton, the Executive Director of the Kathrada Foundation, said, “A hunger strike is not only the most peaceful form of resistance, but is also the last resort by a prisoner to demand basic human rights. The Palestinian prisoners are calling for an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention; fortnightly family visits without cancellation or interference; appropriate medical care including an end to medical neglect of prisoners; releasing prisoners with disabilities or terminal illness; as well as specific requests around access to education and humane transportation of prisoners. (For a full list of demands put forward by the prisoners, read here.)
“The mass support for the hunger strike amongst prisoners is a show of unity and is symbolic of the courage that has become synonymous with simply being Palestinian. Barghouthi himself, in an opinion piece about the hunger strike, wrote: ‘Our chains will be broken before we are, because it is human nature to heed the call for freedom regardless of the cost.’”
Balton said that the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners, was one that South Africans could understand in context of our own apartheid past. “Kathrada would often talk about the sadistic behaviour of some of the apartheid warders who raided their cells in May 1971, while they were on hunger strike in solidarity with SWAPO prisoners. One of Kathrada’s more painful memories of the Island was how the guards strip searched them on May 28. Due to the cold and hunger, Govan Mbeki, who was elderly, collapsed. History has taught us though, that eventually, freedom and dignity triumphed. It is this very freedom and dignity that we believe will be victorious in Palestine as well.”
Balton said that Kathrada would often marvel at the resilience of the Palestinian people.
“During a visit to Palestine in 2013, Kathrada was shocked to find that there were prisoners who had served longer sentences than Nelson Mandela. Their cause resonated very strongly with him as a former political prisoner.”
Balton also thanked the Palestinian people for honouring Kathrada’s memory. “Just a few weeks ago, Fadwa Barghouthi visited South Africa for the launch of a movie on Marwan’s life. Fadwa expressed concern at Kathrada’s ill health at the time. Following Kathrada’s passing, Fadwa, together with parties across the political spectrum in Palestine came together to pay tribute to him. We would like to thank the Palestinian people and its leadership for this gesture,” he stated. “We reiterate our continued solidarity for your struggle for freedom. We hope that you would be able to carry our message of strength to Marwan Barghouthi, and the hundreds of others who have joined him in the hunger strike. As Barghouthi himself said, we are confident that ‘this new hunger strike will demonstrate once more that the prisoners’ movement is the compass that guides our struggle, the struggle for Freedom and Dignity, the name we have chosen for this new step in our long walk to freedom.’”
Federation of Greek Women
FEDERATION OF GREEK WOMEN (OGE) HAS LONG SUPPORTED THE JUST STRUGGLE OF PALESTINIAN PEOPLE AND DEMANDS THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE PALESTINIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS
We express our full solidarity with the Palestinian political prisoners in israeli prisons and we support the struggle they started with hunger strike, demanding their immediate release.
We are eversince on the side of Palestinian women and their families and we do not cease to denounce the brutal israeli occupation and USA, EU and NATO that support it.
We denounce the Greek Government SYRIZA/ANEL for the upgrading of military and trade relations with Israel while the Palestinian people are bleeding under the israeli oppression.
We do not stop expressing our solidarity with the Palestinian people against the israeli settlements, against every measure of repression. We do not stop supporting Palestinians for an Independent Palestinian State at 1967 boarders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
FEDERATION OF GREEK WOMEN (OGE)
Unified Campaign for the Liberation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah
Published at: http://liberonsgeorges.samizdat.net/s/communique-de-campagne-unitaire-17-avril/
As part of the week of solidarity with revolutionary prisoners and political prisoners and particularly on 17 April, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, the unified campaign for the liberation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, calls all comrades to support the oppressed peoples and unite for a real defense of the prisoners and revolutionary political prisoners of the world.
The colonial Zionist entity inflicts inhuman treatment on the entire Palestinian people regardless of age. They may be detained without charge, without evidence, without distinction, for periods of six months, renewable at will, so to speak, for life, thanks to a “process” unique in the world, invented first by British colonization at the beginning of the last century and then since the end of World War II by the colonial state, namely, “administrative detention.” This allows the jailers to prolong indefinitely the imprisonment of the prisoners, even after their often-arbitrary sentence pronounced by an occupation tribunal.
The latest statistics show 7,000 Palestinin prisoners, including 650 in administrative detention, 70 women, 438 children under the age of 18, 749 detainees for “unlawful presence in the territory,” 13 parliamentarians, 458 lifers, 473 serving sentences of greater than 20 years, 1700 sick prisoners denied adequate medical care, some in critical condition.
Since 1967, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned by the Zionist entity. All Palestinian families had at least one member who suffered the horror of the jails of the occupier.
Since 2000, more than 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested, interrogated and charged by the military justice system of the occupier, ie 500 to 700 per year. Their number has tripled between 2015 and 2016 and most of them are charged for throwing stones. During their interrogations, these children are subjected to violence and torture, and once they have been sentenced, they are transferred to Israeli prisons in violation of all international norms without any sanctions against the Zionist entity and its accomplices in France and in the world.
The 18 prisons where Palestinians are detained are located in the territories occupied in 1948 (called Israel by international imperialism) with the exception of Ofer prison (West Bank), in violation of international law. 99.74% of those brought before the military courts of the Zionist entity are condemned. Most of them are subject to plea bargains if they want their sentence to be reduced. A Palestinian prisoner can be detained for up to 180 days without seeing a lawyer.
All of these statistics are provided for information only and do not mention all of the abuses and tortures suffered by Palestinian prisoners. In addition, the Zionist entity enjoys the complicity of prison doctors working with the interrogators.
Finally, we cannot talk about political prisoners and especially Palestinian prisoners without mentioning the exemplary fight for the Palestinian cause of our comrades Georges Ibrahim Abdallah and Ahmad Sa’adat.
Georges Ibrahim Abdallah has been detained in France for 33 long years.
His constant commitment to the Palestinian people makes him a fighter imprisoned for his resistance to Zionism, colonialism and imperialism.
Ahmad Saadat, secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, initially imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority in 2002 and subsequently abducted by the Israeli occupying forces, has been held in the prisons of the Zionist entity since 2006.
Free our comrades, free Palestine, free George Ibrahim Abdallah, free Ahmad Saadat and all Palestinian prisoners.
We will NEVER abandon them!
Unified Campaign for the Liberation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah
Socialist Republicans for Palestine
On Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, 17th April 1500 men and women embarked upon a hunger strike in prisons that are nothing more than torture chambers.
The strike comes under the slogan ‘Freedom and Dignity’ and they have basic demands such as regular family visits, appropriate medical care and the ending of solitary confinement. Their gaolers have consistently been criticised by human rights organisations but the Zionists continue to ignore them.
Here in Ireland we are only too familiar with the treatment of political prisoners and especially at this time which is the 36th anniversary of the hunger strike in which ten of our brave comrades died in the pursuit of five just demands.
For years we have stood with the oppressed in many countries and none more so than the Palestinian people and their imprisoned political prisoners. A group of Irish Republican Socialists came together this week and decided we have to do something to highlight the injustice that still prevails in Israeli held gaols. It is not good enough for us sit at home saying how terrible the situation is. We believe that if the Irish people take to the streets it will encourage those in prison and if others throughout the world join with us in protest it will send a resounding message to the oppressors that we will not stand by and let men and women die for basic demands that should be afforded everyone.
We are calling on people to join us at a vigil at the old Andersonstown RUC barracks site. The vigil will start on Friday April 28 at 5pm and continue until 10am the next day. This will be a non-party event and we will be calling all to respect the site and not to bring food or to make a mess.
A solidarity Vigil will also take place at the GPO Dublin, at 5pm on Friday April 28.
Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council
Originally published at: https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/jvp-health-advisory-council-statement-concern-conditions-palestinian-prisoners-israeli-jails-support-palestinian-prisoners-hunger-strike/
The following is a statement from the JVP Health Advisory Council, a network of JVP members who work in health, including physicians, nurses, mental health workers, social workers, public health workers, allied health professionals, complementary health practitioners, as well as others interested in human health.
Guided by the ethical standards of our professions in the health fields, the Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council (JVP-HAC) declares our support of the over 1600 Palestinian Prisoners engaged in the current mass hunger strike. As health workers our support for this act of civil disobedience is rooted in our concerns about the health conditions in Israeli prisons where over 6300 Palestinians, including 300 children, are being held as political prisoners. Hunger striking is an act of last resort—using one’s life and body to protest conditions that are beyond deplorable.
Health workers are human rights defenders as defined by the United Nations. As such we want to underscore the important message of Marwan Barghouti in his NYT editorialas it spells out clearly the violations of international human rights law by Israel in the treatment of Palestinian prisoners. This is a system of injustice that should be of concern to all global citizens, and especially to Americans, whose government provides more aid to Israel than to any other country.
Violations of human rights of Palestinians in Israeli prisons include the use of torture techniques such as physical and psychological abuse; sleep deprivation; threats of sexual abuse; solitary confinement; unfair trials where the conviction rate of Palestinians nears 99%; failure to provide adequate medical care for prisoners; detention in locations where family members are prohibited from visiting; administrative detention (being held without charges or trial); and violations of the specific rights guaranteed to children who are held in detention.
Through our support of the hunger strikers, we urge our government representatives to require that Israel:
1. Address the demands of the political prisoners,
2. End the occupation, which is the root cause for Palestinian political prisoners.
We demand full justice for the Palestinian people.
The JVP-Health Advisory Council
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Coordinating Bureau issued a statement on 22 April in support of Palestinian prisoners on an open hunger strike which began on 17 April 2017.
We express our solidarity with the peaceful, non-violent “strike of freedom and dignity” in protest of the inhuman treatment by Israel, the occupying power, and demanding respect for human rights under international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
The Movement is concerned about the more than 6,500 Palestinian civilians, including 53 women and 300 children, currently imprisoned by Israel, including around 700 languishing in aadministrative detention without any charges against them.
The movement highlighted that these figures are particularly alarming as Israel, the occupying power, has detained since the start of the occupation in 1967, more than 800,000 Palestinians, including children.
The movement and its member states condemned the continued detention of Palestinian civilians and the near-daily Israeli campaign of military raids, including night raids on the homes of civilians, and called for the cessation of such practices and for Israel, the occupying power, to respect its obligations under international law.
The Bureau reiterated its condemnation of the illegal and arbitrary arrest of Palestinian civilians by Israel, including women, children and many elected officials, who are held in cruel and inhumane conditions and subjected to physical and psychological ill-treatment, including torture, interrogation, isolation and solitary confinement and denial of access to medical treatment and family visits.
The movement expressed particular concern about the situation of the most vulnerable groups in Israeli prisons, including Palestinian women and children as well as sick, disabled and paralyzed Palestinian prisoners, amid a deliberate policy of failure to provide medical care, which has caused the deaths of over 200 people.
It emphasized the need to allow international access to Palestinian prisoners, emphasizing that Israel, the occupying power, must be fully responsible for their safety, including the hunger strikers.
The Bureau renewed the call for Israel to release thousands of Palestinian civilians, prisoners and detainees, held in an illegal and inhumane manner, and urged the international community to compel Israel to abide by international law, specifically article 76 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, which clearly defines the rights of protected persons when they are detained by an occupying power.
The Non-Aligned Movement emphasized its support for all efforts to address the plight of Palestinian prisoners and detainees, including the International Campaign for the release of Marwan Barghouti and all Palestinian prisoners, emphasizing in this regard the ministerial declaration on Palestinian prisoners adopted in Bali in May 2011 and then also adopted in Sharm el-Sheikh in May 2012.
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Published originally at: http://www.ijan.org/new-opinions/ijan-sta/
Statement of Solidarity for Palestinian Prisoner Hunger Strike
The International Jewish anti-Zionist Network salutes the 1500 prisoners on collective hunger strike in the Israeli regime’s colonial prisons – the largest such action in half a decade.
The strike demands basic human decency for the prison system’s 7000 detainees, including 300 children. In Israel’s prisons, improved treatment for the imprisoned has only come through struggle from below. The demands include ensuring appropriate medical care, ending abuse, including administrative detention, torture and solitary confinement, and specific demands from women prisoners, including direct family visits with family members, including children, without barriers.
Fatah prisoners called the strike, which has since crossed party lines. The strike’s spokesperson, the imprisoned leader and Central Committee member Marwan Barghouti, noted, “the prisoners’ movement is the compass that guides our struggle, the struggle for Freedom and Dignity, the name we have chosen for this new step in our long walk to freedom.” The New York Times refused to publish his editorial in the domestic edition, exhibiting the US elite and its media’s long-standing commitment to the suppression of anti-colonial voices.
Furthermore, Michael Oren attacked the decision to publish the article on the last day of Passover – reflecting a pattern of using any pretext, particularly the misuse of Jewish religious ritual or Jewish suffering, to cover up colonialism and racism in Israel and elsewhere.
The Palestinian Boycott National Committee which coordinates Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) work internationally, stated it “fully supports the hunger strikers’ courageous fight for their rights and dignity. We call on people of conscience around the world to further grow BDS campaigns against Israel’s regime of injustice.”
Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, reported that the Zionist forces stormed the living areas of strikers in reaction to the strike, and moved them from one location to another in an attempt to weaken them.
Barghouthi linked the strike to struggles against similar racist, colonial regimes: “Israel has tried to brand us all as terrorists to legitimize its violations, including mass arbitrary arrests, torture, punitive measures and severe restrictions…Israel is not the first occupying or colonial power to resort to such expedients.”
Meanwhile, Palestinian lawyers and Palestinian women prisoners have taken steps to support the strike. Others have undertaken their own support efforts and solidarity fasts, including activists in Algeria and a Black for Palestine activist in the United States. People have also protested across the West Bank’s cities, as the prisoner movement galvanizes popular sentiment not merely in Palestine or in the Arab world, but internationally.
Such internationalization of the prisoner issue has occurred in the past – for example, during Sheikh Khader Adnan’s support of the 2013 California hunger strikes against the racist US prison system. The international support for the prisoners’ cause reflects a broadening and deepening of support for resistance to Israeli colonialism more broadly and the international recognition of the rights of all political prisoners and prisoners of politics.
The International Jewish anti-Zionist Network is proud to add our voices to those supporting the strike, and takes inspiration from the commitment and courage of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement against the racism Israel practices both inside and outside the walls of its illegal prisons. We lift up the demands of the imprisoned who are denied their right to family visits as a way of punishment from Israeli authorities: appropriate medical care, the ending of abuse, including administrative detention, torture and solitary confinement, as well as the specific demands from women prisoners – direct visits with family members, including children, without barriers.
International Trade Union Confederation
Originally published at: http://www.ituc-csi.org/ituc-stands-in-solidarity-with
The International Trade Union Confederation representing 181 million workers in national trade union centers in 163 countries, extends its solidarity with Palestinian prisoners who have declared an indefinite hunger strike to protest against violations of human rights inside Israeli Prisons.
We also support the ‘’general strike for freedom and dignity’’ held in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners and call for wider international solidarity.
For the eleventh consecutive day, more than 1,600 Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli prisons are undertaking an indefinite hunger strike to protest against grievances, including medical negligence, administrative detention and limits on family visits. We are deeply concerned about their condition and we call upon the Israeli authorities to ensure that Palestinian prisoners are treated according to the standards set in international humanitarian law.
We add our voice to the demands of the hunger striking Palestinian detainees calling for the lifting of restrictions on family visits, improved overall detention conditions and access to medical care, including easing restrictions on access to education materials and food, as well as the installation of telephones to communicate with their relatives. We also recall that under international humanitarian law, detainees from occupied territories must be detained in the occupied territory, not in the territory of the occupying power, as enshrined in the Fourth Geneva Convention.
In this context, we reaffirm the ITUC’s position as set out in the 2014 ITUC Congress Statement, which denounces the occupation of Palestine by Israel, and pledges to mobilise for a just and sustainable peace between Israel and Palestine, in accordance with the legitimacy of international law. We also call for an end to the construction of illegal Israeli settlements and removal of existing settlements, Israel’s withdrawal from all Palestinian lands in line with the 4th of June 1967 borders, and the dismantling of the illegal separation wall.
We call upon all trade unions to support the strike for freedom and dignity.
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition
Originally published at: https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/phss-palestinian-hunger-strike-statement.pdf
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF PALESTINIAN PRISONERS ON HUNGER STRIKE
April 28, 2017
The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition stands in strong solidarity with the over 1,500 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike protesting their torturous conditions and treatment in Israeli prisons. As a coalition that came together to support California prisoners in solitary confinement that went on hunger strikes and issued five core demands, we support all of your demands, particularly raising your call to end solitary confinement, administrative detention, and the attacks on family visits.
Solidarity between our struggles is not new. Upon starting their third hunger strike in 2013, prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison in California received a letter of support from former Palestinian political prisoner Khader Adnan, who himself had been on hunger strike for 66 days. As a direct result of their hunger strikes and sacrifices, and because of the solidarity and support like that of Adnan, the prisoners’ movement in California achieved an historic legal victory against the use of solitary confinement in 2015.
We hold hope for you and will fight with you towards liberation from California, to Palestine, to everywhere where people are struggling against oppression and injustice.
Saoradh members and supporters attended events held in Belfast and Dublin in Support of the Palestinian Hunger strikers.
The following is the text of a speech read out by Saoradh activist Damhnaic Mac Eochaidh at last nights Freedom & Dignity vigil in Belfast.
“Tonight Saoradh joins with other Socialist Republicans to support the mass hunger strike for ‘Freedom and Dignity’ taking place in Israeli
“Hunger strike is the weapon of last resort for those who are deprived proper treatment as human beings. We know this from our own experience and, more painfully, we understand the terrible price that must be paid to assert our common humanity.
“Poor prison conditions invariably leads to confrontation between two opposing forces, the oppressor and the oppressed. Deprived of the material conditions that make meaningful existence possible, the political prisoner will find ways and means in order to press home his / her case. It is only whenever life grows unbareable that the option of hunger strike becomes thinkable to those that seek relief from the deprivations of incarceration. When this time arrives then there is no room left for doubt or prevarication.
“In 1981 Irish Republicans embarked on a hunger strike that resulted in the deaths of ten of our bravest comrades.
“Britain’s policy required conformity to normal prison rules as though we were common criminals. The ensuing protest produced unimaginable conditions of hardship for the political prisoners and famies. Arch Bishop O Faich compared the H-Blocks to the “blackest holes of Calcutta.”
“After much soul searching the prisoners concluded that the only way to bring the nightmare to an end was a hunger strike to death.
“And so our Palestinian comrades find themselves in the same circumstances today. Having endured decades of oppression, a mass hunger strike was forced on them by a brutal prison system based on the purest forms of racism.
“The battle lines are drawn once more between the oppressor and the oppressed.
“The mass hunger strike is the largest of its kind in recent history. A majority of the political factions that go to make up the Palestinian national movement are involved in the action. It has now entered its twelfth day with no sign of abatement.
“Most of the prison leaders were put into isolation in the early stages of the strike, a favourite tactic of prison authorities everywhere. Reports this week that several of the isolated prisoners are now refusing water is causing major concern among families and supporters.
“In addition, news of serious decline in Marwan Barghouti’s health – the man responsible for calling the hunger strike and leader of the largest political faction, al-Fatah – has upped the stakes.
“Saoradh sends fraternal and solidarity greetings to each and everyone of our brave Palestinian comrades, and to the families of each of the 1500 hunger strikers.
“The struggle for ‘Freedom and Dignity’ engages all of Palestinian society.
“We in Saoradh stand by you as you stood by us in our time of need.
“VICTORY TO ALL PALESTINIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS ; VICTORY TO THE HUNGER STRIKERS!”
Saoradh would like to thank all Republican socialists that attended the event and we will continue to stand with anyone highlighting the Palestinian Hunger strikers and their wider desire for freedom from occupation.