Activists in Paris organized by CAPJPO-EuroPalestine have launched a hunger strike on Tuesday, 9 May in Paris in support of Palestinian prisoners on their 23rd day without food in Israeli prisons. They have gathered at La Fontaine des Innocents to express their solidarity in the coming days. Over 1500 Palestinian prisoners launched their hunger strike on 17 April 2017, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, for basic human rights. Their demands include an end to the denial of family visits, the right to access higher education, proper health care and medical treatment and an end to administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial – and solitary confinement.
The strike includes prisoners and leaders from across the Palestinian political spectrum. Leaders like Marwan Barghouthi, Kamil Abu Hanish and Karim Younes launched the strike; last week, 50 prominent leaders including Ahmad Sa’adat, Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Abbas Sayyed, Zaid Bseiso, Nael Barghouthi and Hasan Salameh joined the strike. They have vowed to continue until their demands are met, despite intensified Israeli repression, including hunger strikers being repeatedly transferred, their belongings confiscated and their rooms subject to constant invasions from repressive forces. Prisoners have also been repeatedly denied legal and family visits.
The hunger strike in Paris joins similar efforts in Italy, England, Scotland, Belgium, Morocco, Canada and elsewhere in support of the prisoners; individual support strikes have also been announced by prominent figures such as Archbishop Atallah Hanna, Palestinian resistance figure Leila Khaled and Catholic patriarch Gregory III Laham. In France, Georges Abdallah, the Lebanese Communist prisoner and struggler for Palestine imprisoned for 33 years in French prisons, engaged in a three-day hunger strike in support of the prisoners.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the Paris hunger strikers and all of the solidarity strikers around the world engaged in global actions of support for Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. These actions must grow and build in order to develop a strong international popular pressure to fulfill the hunger strikers’ demands. We urge the organizing of more activities and events like these on campuses and in communities around the world.
The first statement of the Paris hunger strikers follows:
We have been on hunger strike since Monday midnight, expressing our support for the Palestinian political prisoners who have been fasting for three weeks in Israeli jails and whose state of health is worrying.
At the moment, three women and three men among us have started this hunger strike so as to bring to light the scandalous prison conditions endured by the Palestinians at the hands of the Occupier, and the basic character of their demands, as it is a matter of enforcing the fundamental rights recognised by every international convention:
- abolition of the so-called administrative detention, i.e. without charge or trial and for an indefinite period
- abolition of torture and of the inhuman treatment they undergo
- abolition of child detention
- family visits twice a month, instead of one at present
- appropriate healthcare when they are ill
- right to study when in prison
We thus join English, Scottish and Italian campaigners who launched this hunger strike action in Europe and we hope that our show of solidarity will inspire many others in the rest of the country.
This is an emergency, not just because the Palestinian prisoners’ health is worsening and there are already many seriously wounded Palestinians, as the Occupation Army shoots all those who show solidarity with the prisoners, but also because Israel threatens to use the same methods as in Guantanamo and to force feed the hunger strikers.
We are at La Fontaine des Innocents, near Le Forum des Halles in Paris (Métro-RER, Châtelet-les-Halles).
Do come and see us to participate in this hunger strike or encourage us.