Archive for the ‘Hunger Strikes’ Category

The below piece is taken from Samidoun, the US-based Palestinian Prisoner Support Network (see here):

On the occasion of the victory of the Strike of Freedom and Dignity, the valiant battle of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails, confronting the occupier with their bodies and their lives, we salute the Palestinian prisoners on achieving their victory, not only for themselves and their families, but for the entire Palestinian people and global movement for justice and liberation. We salute and congratulate the prisoners on their victory after 40 days of sacrifice, steadfastness and endless struggle. We also salute and congratulate all those who contributed to this victory, throughout Palestine, in the refugee camps, in Palestinian communities everywhere and among strugglers around the world for justice and liberation. We simultaneously take this moment as an inspiration to continue and elevate our action and organizing for freedom – for all Palestinian prisoners and for the land and people of Palestine.

On 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, 1500 Palestinian prisoners out of nearly 6500 imprisoned in Israeli jails launched their strike for a series of demands. These demands were straightforward, focusing on the (more…)

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat has released a new statement from imprisoned Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, on the suspension of the Strike of Freedom and Dignity. The statement is republished below: 

Statement by the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Sa’adat

The prisoners have made a new epic from their will and determination and have proven that their rights must be taken and not pleaded for

To the masses of the Palestinian people, the Arab nation, and the forces of freedom in the world…

The striking prisoners mustered their steadfastness, will and resolve to thwart and resist all attempts to abort and dismantle the strike. No oppression has been spared against the strikers, which has contributed to the deterioration of the prisoners’ health through repressive policies and measures against the strikers, especially the policy of arbitrary transfer which did not cease until the last moment, apart from the occupation’s attempts to spread lies, rumors and misinformation. The heroic prisoners have confronted all of these policies and practices and have, for 41 days, made of their own will of steel a new epic in confrontation of the occupation, adding to the historic landmarks of the struggles of our people in the national liberation movement.

To our Palestinian masses…

This victory was the (more…)

Below is a statement released by the Prison Branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on April 16, Palestine Prisoners’ Day; this was also the day before the mass hunger strike began: 

Palestinian Prisoners’ Day is a day of challenge and confrontation, emphasizing the issue of prisoners

On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, we salute every prisoner, the heroes and heroines of the battles of will and steadfastness, to every flower and cub, to the sick prisoners, administrative detainees and imprisoned leaders, led by the imprisoned General Secretary, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, Marwan Barghouthi, Hassan Salameh, Wajdi Jawdat, Anas Jaradat, Bassam Kandaji and the long line of leaders who represent the national struggle and the prisoners’ cause.

On this occasion, we make a particular salute to the martyrs of the prisoners movement and to all of those engaged in confrontation and the struggle for victory. We are firmly committed to see each battle of confrontation with the Prison Service and its instruments of repression and intelligence agencies as a collective battle. Every action initiated by any faction is all of our battle.
We also congratulate the longest-serving woman prisoner, Lena Jarbouni, on this occasion of her freedom after 15 years in Israeli jails.

In this context, we affirm that we stand hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder in any struggle waged by the prisoners, and we consider the decision to engage in the battle of dignity and honor against the jailer, beginning on Monday, April 17, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2017, to be one which we support and which we are part of. This comes in two ways, both through the decisions and guidelines for the comrades to engage in the battle, and through approving a program of support for the strike in all prisons and among our comrades outside.

In this context of high appreciation and support for this battle and all the heroic prisoners who will engage in it, we affirm our continued struggle for (more…)

Protest in Nablus April 16 marking Palestinian Prisoner Day

Over 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners have announced they will launch a collective hunger strike today, Monday, 17 April, on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2017. The strike, which will come under the slogan “Freedom and Dignity,” highlights a number of key demands of the Palestinian prisoners, including family visits, appropriate medical care, ending abusive conditions and stopping the use of solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. As the strike begins, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges supporters of justice around the world to take action to support the Palestinian prisoners whose bodies and lives are on the line for freedom and dignity.

Palestinian prisoners from across political lines announced they would participate in and support the strike, especially in Hadarim, Gilboa, and Nafha prisons. Prisoners in Beersheva, Ashkelon and Ramon prisons will also launch their participation in the strike today, with more to come in the future, Ma’an News reported. The strike’s demands were announced by Fateh prisoners with imprisoned Fateh Central Committee member and prominent political leader Marwan Barghouthi serving as the spokesperson for the strike. A statement by Barghouthi highlighting the strike’s causes was published in the New York Times on 16 April.

“Israel’s prisons have become the cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination. This new hunger strike will demonstrate once more that the prisoners’ movement is the compass that guides our struggle, the struggle for Freedom and Dignity, the name we have chosen for this new step in our long walk to freedom,” wrote Barghouthi.

Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, known for his denunciation of hunger strikers as “terrorists,” has threatened to move all Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike to the Negev desert prison and establish a “field hospital” to deny the prisoners access to medical care in civilian hospitals – and potentially threaten them with (more…)

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The following appeared yesterday (July 31) on the site of  Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

bilalImprisoned Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat and a number of prominent leaders in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, including Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, have joined the hunger strike in support of Bilal Kayed‘s strike for freedom as part of a group of ten new hunger strikers, as Kayed enters his 47th day without food.  As Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the PFLP – Kayed’s leftist party – announced his entry into the strike, he was reportedly transferred immediately to solitary confinement in Ramon prison, part of the ongoing repressive policies used by the Israel Prison Services against the hunger strikers.

In a statement released by the PFLP prisoners on 31 July, they said, “the General Secretary, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, is launching a hunger strike from Sunday, 31 July. This is a strategic decision of a leader who is fighting this battle alongside his fellow strugglers. The commander does not leave his soldiers but joins in the battle, and emphasizes that his participation in the battle will continue until Comrade Bilal achieves his freedom.”

Sa’adat previously spent over three years in isolation; his solitary confinement and that of several Palestinian leaders provoked collective hunger strikes in 2011 and 2012, until the release of 19 leaders to general population was achieved in the mass Karameh hunger strike. In the past several years, the Israeli occupation has escalated the use of isolation and solitary confinement against Palestinian prisoners, with some prisoners, including Abdul Rahman Othman, imprisoned in solitary confinement for more than 2 years. Long-term solitary confinement is considered a form of torture for the extreme psychological pressure and damage it induces.

Kayed, who remains shackled hand and foot to his hospital bed in Barzilai hospital, has experienced significant deterioration in his health. He suffers repeated periods of loss of consciousness, loss of vision, and has lost (more…)

download (2)Today also marks the 35th anniversary of the death of Francis Hughes.

The legendary IRA Volunteer and freedom fighter died on May 12, 1981 after 59 days on hunger strike.

He was 25 years old.