Imprisoned, cancer-stricken Palestinian intellectual Walid Daqqah once again denied release by occupation courts

March for the freedom of Walid Daqqah in Baqa’ al-Gharbiyeh, 5 August 2023


Occupation courts once again denied justice to imprisoned Palestinian intellectual and freedom fighter Walid Daqqah on Monday, 7 August 2023. Imprisoned since 1986, Daqqah is currently suffering from a rare form of bone marrow cancer, myelofibrosis. Since his diagnosis in December 2022, he has not only received inadequate and inappropriate treatment for his cancer, he has also experienced a stroke, developed pneumonia, had part of his lung removed in surgery and had multiple infections after he was repeatedly removed from a civilian hospital to the infamous Ramleh prison clinic.

Demonstrations in occupied Palestine — especially in his hometown of Baqa’ al-Gharbiyeh in occupied Palestine ’48 — have continued on an almost daily basis to demand his freedom, while his family — including his wife Sana’ Salameh and their daugher Milad, conceived through “liberated sperm” smuggled outside the prison after he and his wife were denied conjugal visits.

Daqqah’s family issued a statement on the latest denial of his early release petition, as follows:

Statement by the family and the campaign to release the prisoner Walid Daqqah on the refusal of the Lod (al-Lydd) Central Court of early release for the prisoner Walid Daqqah, Monday, 7 August 2023 at 1:55 pm

Today, Monday, 7 August 2023, the Central Court of Lod (al-Lydd) issued a decision rejecting the early release of the prisoner Walid Daqqah, despite the extreme danger to his life as a result of the deterioration of his health conditions during the past five months, and he is still undergoing inappropriate treatment due to the seriousness of his condition, in the Ramleh prison clinic (Marash). It is noteworthy that the prisoner Walid Daqqah’s unjust life sentence of 37 years ended on 24 March 2023, but he is still arbitrarily detained after two years were added to his sentence in 2018 on the pretext of his attempt to help the prisoners contact their families.

We, the family and the campaign for the release of the prisoner Walid Daqqah, consider any decision or judgment that does not lead to the immediate release of the prisoner Daqqah to be an authorization for his execution, by procrastinating in deciding on his release despite the very high degree of danger posed by his health condition, which was recognized even by the report of the occupation prisons “Minshalah.” Despite this report, the removal of the “Sagaf” (high-security prisoner) classification of Walid Daqqah and the expiration of his actual sentence five months ago, the court again refused his immediate release. We take this opportunity to call on all political and popular levels of support for our campaign at all levels, nationally on the Palestinian scene, in the Arab world, and internationally, until the release of the prisoner Walid Daqqah. We will continue to work on the legal path by petitioning the Israeli Supreme Court.

Campaign to release the prisoner Walid Daqqah

In July 2023, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers adopted a resolution urging Daqqah’s release, noting, “Daqqah has been repeatedly denied release in prisoner exchanges with other Palestinian political prisoners four times, in 1994, 2008, 2011 and 2014, because he is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, yet he has also been denied the rights and privileges granted to Jewish Israeli prisoners, such as conjugal visits and early release, reflecting the apartheid and settler colonial nature of the Israeli prison system…Walid Daqqah is one of the preeminent intellectuals of the Palestinian resistance movement and has been subjected to solitary confinement in retaliation for his writing and publication, and is the author of multiple books, including: Testimonies of Resistance: The Battle of Jenin Camp 2002 (2004); Consciousness Molded or the Re-identification of Torture (2010); The Story of the Forgotten in Parallel Time (2011); The Oil’s Secret Tale (2018); The Sword’s Secret Tale (2021); The Spirit’s Secret Tale/ The Martyrs Return to Ramallah (2022), as well as unpublished manuscripts, paintings, poetry, lyrics and autobiography.”

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:

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