Portuguese parliament declares support for Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike

The following statement is republished from the Movimento pelos Direitos do Povo Palestino e Pela Paz no Medio Oriente (MPPM). Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the Portuguese parliament and the movement in Portugal in solidarity with the Palestinian people for this important declaration that emphasizes that Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are far from isolated and silenced – instead, they have the solidarity and support of justice-minded people around the world. 

On 11 May, the Assembly of the Republic (Portuguese parliament) approved a text of solidarity with the 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners who have been on hunger strike since 17 April. The text was proposed by MPs Bruno Dias and António Filipe (PCP, Portuguese Communist Party), Joana Mortágua and Pedro Filipe Soares (BE, Left Bloc) and Heloisa Apolónia (PEV, Ecologist Party Greens).

The MPPM welcomes this important manifestation of solidarity by an organ of the Portuguese State.

We hereby publish the full text of the declaration of solidarity.


Towards Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons

A hunger strike involving about 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners has been under way since April 17 in Israeli prisons. They protest against the degrading conditions to which they are subjected, arbitrary arrests, torture and solitary confinement, medical negligence, humiliation, denial of basic rights such as family visits or education.

The response of the State of Israel to the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners was to put some of the most prominent Palestinian leaders in solitary confinement or transfer them to other detention centers, the threat of forced feeding, a practice considered by humanitarian law and medical ethics as a form of torture. More than 6,500 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, of which 300 are children and 500 are under administrative detention. Thirteen Members of the Palestinian Parliament remain imprisoned in Israeli prisons.

The struggle of these political prisoners is an expression of the long struggle of the whole people for freedom, against occupation and for their national existence. This form of struggle, now adopted by prisoners of all Palestinian political organizations, underlines once again the importance of solidarity with the Palestinian patriots imprisoned by the Israeli authorities.

Seventy years after the adoption of the Palestine partition plan and fifty years after the occupation of the West Bank of the Jordan River, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights in Syria, it is time for the Palestinian people to realise their inalienable right to the establishment of a free, viable and sovereign State.

Thus, the Assembly of the Republic, meeting in Plenary Session,

1. Expresses its solidarity with the Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons;

2. Calls for the compliance with international law, in particular the Geneva Conventions on the obligations and restrictions of the occupying power, and the respect for the rights and the release of the political prisoners;

3. Reaffirms the position taken by the Portuguese State on the principle of the coexistence of two States, Palestine and Israel, in accordance with the principles established by international law.

Assembly of the Republic, May 10, 2017 »

The voting was as follows. Section 1 approved (in favour: PS – Socialist Party, BE – Left Bloc, PCP – Portuguese Communist Party, PEV – Ecologist Party Greens and PAN – Persons Animals Nature party; against: PSD – Social-Democratic Party, CDS-PP – Democratic-Social Center, and 1 MP of the PS). Section 3 approved (in favour: PSD, PS, BE, CDS-PP, PCP, PEV and PAN; abstention: 2 PS MPs). Section 2 rejected (in favor: BE, PCP, , CDS-PP and 1 MP of the PS, abstention: 2 MPs of the PS).