Samidoun: Freedom for labor organizer Kamal Khalil and all Egyptian political prisoners!

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands in solidarity with and demands the immediate release of long-time Egyptian labor organizer and leftist activist Kamal Khalil, arrested early Thursday morning on allegations of political charges, including “inciting illegal protest, spreading false news and insulting the president.”

Throughout the presidencies of Sadat, Mubarak, Morsi and Sisi, Kamal Khalil has been a consistent and clear voice in the streets defending Egyptian workers and the popular classes against military rule, capitalist exploitation, Zionism and imperialism.

He first became a leader in the Egyptian student movement of the 1970s and the 1977 “Bread Uprising” against Anwar Sadat, mobilizing for social justice. He has been a consistent organizer for Palestine and has been arrested over 15 times, many of those times for organizing protests in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for liberation. In 2003, he was held in solitary confinement for organizing protests against the war on Iraq.

A longtime labor organizer, he has participated in the struggles of iron and steel workers, railway workers, textile workers and transportation workers. He is a founder of the Democratic Workers Party and the Kefaya Movement and directs the Center for Socialist Studies. Most recently, he has been involved in protests against the sale or transfer of the Egyptian islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia. Over 120 people have already been arrested in the context of protesting the attempted transfer of the Egyptian islands, previously blocked by Egyptian courts.

Today, Kamal Khalil is one of thousands of political prisoners and detainees in Egyptian prisons. Samidoun stands in solidarity with Kamal Khalil and demands his immediate release and the release of all political prisoners from Egyptian jails.