Video: Set Them Free: Event highlights solidarity with political prisoners in Guatemala, Philippines and Palestine

On Thursday, 3 December, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) Commission 3 organized a webinar to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. The event was jointly organized with Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Karapatan and Selda, and it featured the participation of former political prisoners, activists and organizers discussing the situation in Latin America, the Philippines and Palestine.

Menchani Tiendo of ILPS opened the event, followed by Liza Maza, General Secretary of ILPS. A paper by the chairperson of ILPS Guatemala, Hector Herrera, began the event. Note: this presentation was made in Spanish, and a full translation in English by Jigs Clamor follows the initial discussion.

Charlotte Kates, international coordinator of Samidoun, provided an overview of the situation of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, highlighting the cases of feminist leaders Khitam Saafin and Khalida Jarrar, student political prisoners and the over 200 severely ill Palestinian prisoners, among others. She also discussed the cases of Palestinian prisoners in imperialist jails, including Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the Lebanese Arab Communist struggler for Palestine jailed in France for over 36 years; the Holy Land Foundation Five jailed in the U.S. and Issam Hijjawi Bassalat currently detained by the British in the north of Ireland.

The event also included cultural contributions; Youssef Seif, a Palestinian musician from Tulkarem now based in Brazil, contributed a song to the event in support of the Palestinian prisoners. A member of the Dar Kandil Foundation, he plays in an orchestra that includes 22 musicians from different countries and several other musical groups.

Fides Lim, the spokesperson of Kapatid, an association of family members of political prisoners in the Philippines and the wife of political prisoner Vicente Ladlad, spoke in detail about the dire situation in the Philippines, including the sharp escalation in assassinations and extrajudicial killings. She spoke about the case of political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino and her daughter River. Reina Mae gave birth to River while detained and was denied either release or permission to keep her newborn with her inside the prison. River died at only three months of age, separated from her mother the entire time, while the courts failed to act on any of her mother’s motions for them to be reunited.

The full video is available above, on YouTube and on Facebook.