Urgent: Walid Daqqah denied early release by occupation court as he returns medication to protest communication denial

Palestinian prisoner, intellectual and freedom fighter Walid Daqqah was denied early release today, 25 June, by an Israeli occupation “release committee,” despite the fact that he is suffering from the rare bone marrow cancer myelofibrosis, for which he cannot receive appropriate and necessary treatment behind bars. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges Palestinian communities around the world and supporters and friends of Palestine to take action and escalate their campaigns and advocacy for Daqqah’s immediate freedom.

  • The Palestinian Youth Movement has launched a petition campaign as part of their advocacy for Daqqah’s release. Samidoun has signed on to this call alongside many other organizations and individuals! Add your name and sign on here: https://palestinianyouthmovement.com/free-walid-daqqah

The family’s statement and that of the campaign for his release follows below:

Monday, 26 June 2023 at 6:30 pm (Palestine time)

The release committee decided to reject the request of the lawyer of the prisoner, Walid Daqqah, for his early release, claiming that the “Prevention of Terrorism” law applies to him — even though his actual sentence expired on 24 March 2023. The committtee claimed that Walid Daqqah has no right to request early release. His legal team will study the decision and appeal it to the Central Court.

This action comes after weeks and months of delays and referrals from one release committee to another, all while Walid Daqqah continues to be denied the treatment that he needs, which he can only receive in a free and sanitary environment, including a bone marrow transplant. In fact, he is repeatedly transferred between a civilian hospital and the notorious Ramleh prison clinic — dubbed “the slaughterhouse” by Palestinian prisoners — despite his precarious health condition. In the past seven months, he was not only diagnosed with myelofibrosis, after an initial incorrect diagnosis of leukemia, but due to the medical neglect and mistreatment, he suffered a stroke, was denied treatment for a lengthy period, developed pneumonia and had a portion of his lung removed surgically. He has developed infections after being removed to the Ramleh clinic which required his return to the civilian hospitals; all of these developments have been reported by the campaign led by his family.

This action by the occupation court — deeply unsurprising and reflecting the nature of the Zionist legal system as a fig leaf for colonialism, which has granted “permission for his execution,” as his family has noted — follows only an hour after an earlier statement by Daqqah’s family. Despite his extremely precarious health condition and the necessity of his medication for treating his cancer, Daqqah returned his medication today as he continues to be denied contact and communication with his family.

Daqqah has been imprisoned by the occupation since 1986 for participating in the Palestinian resistance. He has been repeatedly denied release in prisoner exchanges because he is a Palestinian from occupied Palestine ’48 — a citizen of Israel, yet denied access to the normal amenities and consideration granted to Jewish Israeli prisoners. His sentence expired on 24 March 2023, but he is currently being held on an additional two-year disciplinary sentence for smuggling a mobile phone in order to speak to his family.

The family campaign statement follows below:

Monday, 26 June 2023 at 5:20 pm (Palestine time)

In protest of the deprivation of his right to communicate with his family, the prisoner Walid Daqqah returned his medicine today to the administration of the Ramleh occupation prison clinic. Daqqah rejected the prison administration’s delays and procrastination in making arrangements for communication with his family, despite his critical health condition. He also refused that arrangement for communication with his family should come at the expense of his fellow prisoners.

We in the family and the campaign to release the prisoner Walid Daqqah, demand an immediate response to his demand. We consider the prison administration’s delay in fulfilling this right as a continuation of the prison authority’s decision to harm his life by pushing him to reject his medicine. We call on local, regional and international bodies and authorities to intervene immediately to guarantee his rights, including the right to contact his family, until his release is secured.

Walid Daqqah is married to Sanaa Salameh and the father of Milad, who was conceived through “smuggled sperm” after he had his wife were denied conjugal visits. Throughout his imprisonment, he has resisted through his writing, his books for adults and children, his political thought, and the growth and love of his family despite prison bars.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joins the family of Walid Daqqah, the campaign for his freedom and the entire Palestinian people in demanding his immediate release, the only way in which he can receive proper treatment without restrictions. The Israeli prison administration and the Zionist regime hold full responsibility for his life as they continue to deny him an appropriate environment to treat his rare cancer.

Take action to save the life of Walid Daqqah and defeat the Zionist policy of assassination through medical neglect.

We urge Palestinian communities around the world and supporters of Palestine to include the campaign to free Walid Daqqah in your events and activities for Palestine and to organize actions and events demanding his immediate liberation and that of all Palestinian prisoners.

  • The Palestinian Youth Movement has launched a petition campaign as part of their advocacy for Daqqah’s release. Samidoun has signed on to this call alongside many other organizations and individuals! Add your name and sign on here: https://palestinianyouthmovement.com/free-walid-daqqah

Use these signs below in your actions and campaigns, and send us your photos on FacebookInstagram and Twitter or via email at samidoun@samidoun.net.

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