Protest in Berlin urges freedom for Jarrar, Saafin and all Palestinian prisoners

Photo: Afif El-Ali

Protesters in Berlin, Germany gathered in Breitscheidplatz on Friday, 7 July, to demand the release of Khalida Jarrar, Khitam Saafin and all Palestinian prisoners.

Organized by the Democratic Palestine Committees, the protest brought together Palestinian community organizers and supporters of Palestine to demand freedom for Palestinian political prisoners. The protest highlighted the cases of Jarrar and Saafin, prominent Palestinian women political leaders seized by Israeli occupation forces on 2 July.

Photo: Afif El-Ali

Jarrar, a prominent Palestinian national leader, is a parliamentarian, feminist and leftist. A prominent advocate for Palestinian political prisoners, she is the chair of the Palestinian Legislative Council’s prisoners commission and vice-chair of the Board of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.

She was imprisoned by Israeli occupation forces from April 2015 through June 2017, including a period held in administrative detention without charge or trial. On the morning of 2 July, her family home was invaded in a pre-dawn raid.

Photo: Afif El-Ali

Khitam Saafin, president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, was also seized in a pre-dawn raid on her Beitunia home on Sunday, 2 July in the same series of coordinated attacks, in which Israeli occupation forces seized at least nine other Palestinians.

Saafin also chairs the Global Women’s March – Palestine and is known around the world for her feminist advocacy and organizing of Palestinian women for national and social liberation. She has spoken internationally at numerous events, including the World Social Forum and welcomed many international delegations to Palestine.

Photo: Afif El-Ali

The protesters carried signs and banners demanding freedom for Jarrar, Saafin and fellow Palestinian prisoners, as well as demanding the end of administrative detention, the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial under Israeli military orders.

There are currently approximately 500 Palestinians held under administrative detention orders, out of a total of 6,200 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Palestinians can spend years at a time jailed under indefinitely renewable administrative detention orders.

The protest in Berlin is accompanied by multiple statements, protests and events around the world demanding freedom for Khalida Jarrar, Khitam Saafin and their fellow Palestinian prisoners, including events in Toulouse, Madrid, New York, Beirut, Belgium and elsewhere.