Freedom for Bashir al-Khairy! Palestinian lawyer jailed without charge or trial faces extension of unjust detention

Bashir al-Khairy, 79-year-old Palestinian lawyer, longtime leftist leader and human rights defender, is currently being jailed without charge or trial by the Israeli occupation. Occupation forces invaded his home on 29 October 2021, seizing him and taking him to the Ofer military base. After multiple extensions of his detention, and an initial list of military court charges, he was then ordered to administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial on the basis of “secret evidence” — after initially being ordered released on bail. His administrative detention order will end on 28 April 2022, and Palestinian prisoners are mobilizing to demand his release at the end of his detention order — and calling upon people around the world to join them.

Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable; as a result, Palestinians have spent years at a time jailed without ever even being charged before an unjust military court. Instead, the detention orders are essentially rubber-stamped by the military courts at the request of the occupation intelligence. After his administrative detention order, Bashir Khairy launched a boycott of the military courts, sparking the ongoing collective boycott of the military courts by all of the administrative detainees. There are currently upwards of 600 Palestinians held under administrative detention, out of approximately 4,500 Palestinian political prisoners. As of 1 January 2022, all of the detainees have refused to attend the military court hearings on their detention, demanding instead the end of administrative detention.

Administrative detention is frequently used to target political, community and social leaders like al-Khairy, in an attempt to isolate them from the Palestinian people and undermine Palestinian resistance and resiliency. However, the administrative detainees have continued to fight back behind bars, launching the boycott of the military courts and repeated hunger strikes for freedom. Currently, two administrative detainees, Raed Rayan and Khalil Awawdeh, are on hunger strike for liberation.

On 21 April, the leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine prison branch announced that if the occupation extends al-Khairy’s administrative detention on or before 28 April rather than releasing him, a large number of the prisoners will launch an open hunger strike to demand his immediate freedom and take additional steps of escalation and protest.

Al-Khairy is a Palestinian national leader with a lengthy experience in the struggle for liberation. He spent over 15 years in occupation prisons, was subjected to deportation from occupied Palestine and has been repeatedly banned from traveling outside Palestine. He was exiled during the great popular intifada of 1987-1993 and pursued again during the al-Aqsa Intifada. A Palestinian refugee born in al-Ramla, he was forcibly displaced from his home during the Nakba by Zionist forces. He attended law school at Cairo University, where he also became involved in student activism and Palestinian and Arab politics, joining the Arab Nationalist Movement.

As a national Palestinian figure with broad support and respect among the people, he participates frequently in national events, popular mobilizations and works to support the just cause of the Palestinian people. He also never hesitates to raise his voice in protest against the “security coordination” policies and political repression of the Palestinian Authority, such as the assassination of Nizar Banat.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its strongest support for Bashir al-Khairy and the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, including the hundreds of administrative detainees engaged in a collective boycott of the military courts for nearly five months and the hunger strikers Raed Rayan and Khalil Awawdeh. We urge all supporters of Palestine to raise your voices to free Bashir al-Khairy and support the administrative detainees’ boycott of the military courts. The liberation of the administrative detainees — and of all Palestinian prisoners — is central to the liberation of Palestine from colonization and occupation.

Take Action:

1. Join the campaign on social media!

Use the following posters (download and print) to take photos of yourself at events and actions for Palestine, or just in your own home. Take a solidarity photo with your group or organization or by yourself and post it to your social media page with the hashtags, #FreeBashirKhairy #FreeThemAll — send us your links on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

Download the PDF file .

Download the PDF file .

2. Demonstrations, rallies and street actions – including actions to boycott Israel!

Have a protest or action to free Palestinian prisoners, support the Palestinian struggle for liberation, stand with the Palestinian resistance and boycott Israel and its complicit corporations. Join the many protests taking place around the world — confront, isolate and besiege the Israeli embassy or consulate in your city or country of residence. Make it clear that the people are with Palestine and the liberated prisoners! Send us your events at samidoun@samidoun.net.

3. Creative and Direct Actions

Creative actions are a wonderful way to spread the word and highlight the struggle of the Palestinian prisoners. The banner hung by Samidoun España in Madrid at the University metro station highlighted the struggle of Palestinian students, while the campaign to symbolically rename streets after Georges Abdallah internationally commemorated his birthday and amplified the demand for his liberation. Palestine Action is having a major effect on Israeli weapons dealers through their direct action targeting Elbit Systems.

These actions only require one, two or a few people. You can even simply poster and sticker around your neighbourhood. Contact us via email at samidoun@samidoun.net or via WhatsApp at +32466904397 if you are looking for image ideas or resources! 

4. Demand Your Government Sanction Israel!

The racist, settler colonial state of Israel and its war crimes against the Palestinian people are enabled and backed extensively by the over $3.8 billion each year given to Israel by the United States — targeted directly to support the Israeli occupation military killing children, women, men and elders throughout occupied Palestine. From Canada to Australia to the European Union, Western governments and imperialist powers provide ongoing diplomatic, political and economic support to Israel as well as selling billions of dollars of weaponry to the settler-colonial state. Meanwhile, they also purchase billions of dollars in weaponry from the Israeli state. Governments in league with imperialist powers, such as in the Philippines, Brazil, India and elsewhere, also buy weapons and “security” services — all “battle-tested” on the Palestinian population. Call your representatives, MPs, political officials and demand your government sanction Israel now, cut off all aid, expel its ambassadors, and stop buying and selling weapons!

Please note: Samidoun has speakers that can participate in your events (in-person and virtual) in Arabic, English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish and other languages. Contact us via email at samidoun@samidoun.net or via WhatsApp at +32466904397 to inquire about a Samidoun speaker!