On Tuesday, 3 November, Samidoun Network in Occupied Palestine, along with the families of the prisoners and the martyrs, called for a demonstration in Ramallah at Manara Square, on Maher al-Akhras‘ 100th day of hunger strike. The 49-year-old Palestinian father of six has been on hunger strike since 24 July, when he was seized by Israeli occupation forces and ordered to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.
Protesters gathered to demand freedom for al-Akhras and his fellow Palestinian prisoners and marched through the streets of Ramallah carrying signs and banners calling for their liberation. Protesters also called for the immediate release of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the Lebanese Arab struggler for Palestine imprisoned in France for 36 years.
Administrative detention orders, first introduced to Palestine by the British colonial mandate and used routinely by the Zionist state against Palestinian community leaders and activists, are indefinitely renewable. Palestinians have spent years at a time jailed under these arbitrary detention orders, including Maher al-Akhras himself, who was imprisoned previously for 11 months and again for 16 months under these repeatedly renewed orders.
The protest comes amid a growing international campaign for his release, including multiple collective hunger strikes of solidarity: Artists, activists, parliamentarians join rolling hunger strikes in solidarity with Maher al-Akhras: Samidoun España; Anti-Imperialist Front launches solidarity strike for Maher al-Akhras; Irish activists announce solidarity hunger strike for Maher al-Akhras.
Maher al-Akhras has put his body and his life on the line for freedom, justice and dignity, for Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian people and the world. His example stands as an inspiration amid the ravages of imperialism and colonialism. We urge all people of conscience and movements for justice to join us in demanding his immediate release, the end of administrative detention, freedom for all Palestinian prisoners, and freedom for Palestine from the river to the sea.