We express our deepest solidarity with Tareq Matar, Palestinian youth leader, organizer and political prisoner held captive in Israeli prisons. He continues to inspire us with his unabating revolutionary spirit despite his experiences of torture and severe repression at the hands of Israeli occupation forces.
Tareq intended to pursue his academic career, prepared to enter the University of Geneva in Switzerland into a Ph.D. program for the first semester of 2019. However, the Israeli occupation forces ruined his plans by detaining him without charge or trial under administrative detention instead. Tareq did not lose hope despite his imprisonment. He kept writing from behind the prison bars and continued to resist.
Tareq was first held in administrative detention as a child in 2006, posing such a “threat to the security” of the Israeli apartheid state that he was jailed for two and a half years with no charges.
In 2010, he was again jailed for ten months, merely for his activism and involvement as a student at Bir Zeit University.
In 2012, Tareq was held under interrogation for 43 days at the sadistic Moskobiyeh interrogation center in Jerusalem, only to emerge victorious and stronger than ever, with his high spirit of resistance and his commitment to fighting for justice alive and well.
In 2017, Tareq was again held under administrative detention, spending a year and a half between Ofer and the Negev desert prison, while his students at school waited for him and write letters to him. He always saw in their eyes the hope of a better future and a good life for the people of the world. Tareq had a special relationship with his students, full of dialogue and love.
Tareq, with the beautiful soul and the bright, vibrant face, was once again imprisoned at the Moskobiyeh interrogation center after his most recent arrest by Israeli occupation forces in November 2019. He was held there for approximately 30 days, where he faced brutal, cruel interrrgation techniques. He was tortured by the Shin Bet’s method of the “banana position” or “back-bending,” allegedly made illegal since 1999 to use against Palestinian prisoners. As a result, he suffered intense pain in his back and joints, made worse by the brutal beatings he suffered at the hands of six security officers. From the moment of his arrest and torture until now, he has been banned from seeing his family members or his lawyers.
When Tareq was brought before the Israeli military court for the first time, he was pushed in, in a wheelchair. Tareq, the athlete, is unable to walk. When the news reached his family and friends, they were in disbelief that Tareq has now been forced to use a wheelchair due to Israeli brutality.
Tareq is passionate about life, ambitious, craving knowledge and spreading it with love and hope to everyone around him. He is loved by countless people inside and outside Palestine, including all of the international friends he has made, when he has traveled or when people have visited him inside Palestine. Those who know him continue to call him the “spirit of the revolution.”
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all friends of Palestine to stand with Tareq Matar and demand justice, accountability and freedom. Tareq is a committed internationalist whose vision of Palestinian freedom has connected him to many people around the world. We must not let him be isolated, alone in his suffering, by the Israeli occupation forces!
This statement is inspired by the original Arabic at قوة ثورية
1) Organize or join an event or protest for the Palestinian prisoners. You can organize an info table, rally, solidarity hunger strike, protest or action to support the prisoners. Join the actions to Free Ahmad Sa’adat and support the Great Return March – and mention Tareq at your actions. If you are already holding an event about Palestine or social justice, include solidarity with the prisoners as part of your action. Send your events and reports to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Write letters and make phone calls to protest the violation of Palestinian prisoners’ rights. Demand your government take action to stop supporting Israeli occupation or to pressure the Israeli state to end the policies of repression of Palestinian political prisoners. In particular, demand that your political officials put pressure on Israel to end the policy of administrative detention, the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial.
Call during your country’s regular office hours:
• Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne: + 61 2 6277 7500
• Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne: +1-613-995-4895
• European Union Commissioner Josep Borrell Fontelles: +32(0) 470 18 24 05
• New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters: +64 4 439 8000
• United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab: +44 20 7008 1500
• United States President Donald Trump: 1-202-456-1111
3) Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Join the BDS campaign to highlight the complicity of corporations like Hewlett-Packard and the continuing involvement of G4S in Israeli policing and prisons. Build a campaign to boycott Israeli goods, impose a military embargo on Israel, or organize around the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Learn more about the BDS campaign at bdsmovement.net.