On Sunday, 28 February, activists in Brussels, Belgium, protested the renewal of the arbitrary Israeli administrative detention order – for imprisonment without charge or trial — against Palestinian feminist and president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees Khitam Saafin.
They displayed a banner in front of the Israeli embassy and the soldiers stationed outside, while the stone wall surrounding the building was tagged with “BDS” slogans promoting the boycott of Israel and divestment and sanctions against it, in support of freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians.
On 25 February, an Israeli military court extended Saafin’s administrative detention for an additional four months; she has already been jailed without charge or trial since 2 November 2020. This is not the first time she has been detained by the Israeli occupation; in 2017, she was jailed for three months without charge or trial under an administrative detention order.
Administrative detention was first introduced to Palestine by the British colonial mandate and then adopted by the Zionist state. Palestinians may be jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention orders of up to six months, which are then indefinitely renewable. Palestinians have spent years at a time jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention.
Saafin is among approximately 40 imprisoned Palestinian women — out of nearly 5,000 total Palestinian political prisoners — including several fellow administrative detainees, imprisoned Palestinian student activists like Shatha Tawil, Layan Kayed, Elia Abu Hijleh and Ruba Assi, and political leaders, including feminist and leftist parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar.
In a statement, the activists in Brussels affirmed: “All of this is made possible by the complicit silence of the international community. We demand the immediate release of Khitam Saafin and all other Palestinian prisoners, the end of the occupation, the application of the right of return for Palestinian refugees and the dismantling of the wall.
Stop colonization in Palestine and everywhere;
Palestine will live!”
Read the full report in French on Brussels Indymedia.
In addition, Samidoun in Murcia, Spain — part of Samidoun España — created posters as part of a call to raise the demand for the liberation of Palestinian women prisoners as part of 8 March in Murcia:
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network condemns the unjust, unlawful extension of Khitam Saafin’s administrative detention by the Israeli occupation and urges people of conscience around the world to join in the call for her freedom and the liberation of all Palestinian prisoners and detainees.
Follow and share our campaign page at https://freekhitamsaafin.org/
Download resources at: https://bit.ly/KhitamResources
We urge women’s organizations, student organizations and people of conscience everywhere to raise their voices and act in solidarity with Khitam Saafin and her fellow Palestinian prisoners targeted by the Israeli occupation – including by building the movement for the boycott of Israel, its institutions and complicit corporations like HP, Puma, Teva Pharmaceuticals and G4S. The Israeli occupation wants to continue its colonization of Palestine unchecked by isolating and detaining the leaders of the Palestinian people’s movement. Join us to act and urge their immediate release and the liberation of all Palestinian prisoners, and of Palestine, from the river to the sea!
1. Post pictures and graphics on your social media accounts urging the release of Khitam Saafin and all Palestinian prisoners. Send your photos to us at Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network on Facebook, @SamidounPP on Twitter, and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Issue a statement from your group, association, women’s organization or union demanding freedom for Khitam Saafin. In 2017, dozens of organizations around the world joined in the call for her release, making her detention – and that of Khalida Jarrar – an international issue. Send your statements to us at email@example.com
3. Organize protests, demonstrations creative actions. Ad hacks, postering and other outdoor actions – especially near an Israeli embassy or consulate – can draw a significant amount of attention to Khitam Saafin and the Palestinian cause at this critical time.
4. Build the boycott of Israel! Join the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. 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.