by Susanne Kemp
Today, Palestinian resistance fighter and political prisoner Bilal Kayed enters his 56th day of hunger strike, shackled hand and foot to his hospital bed by the Israeli au
throities. Bilal was imprisoned in December 2001, at the age of 19, and was due for release this year on June 13. Instead, he was kept in prison through the me
chanism of administrative detention. He is now one of 750 Palestinians held without charge or trial under this mechanism.
During his time in Israeli prisons he has been subjected to solitary confinement, disruptions and bans of family visits, and physical assaults, along with punitive prison transfers. Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, is demanding that he, and the other 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails be released. Bilal himself has pressed the issue by going on hunger strike. Now the hunger strike has been joined by 80 other Palestinian prisoners, including Ahmad Sa’adat, the general-secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the organisation to which Bilal belongs.
At present there are daily protests in Palestine in support of Bilal and the new group of hunger strikers. Around the world, progressive people are also mobilising in solidarity with Bilal and the other hunger strikers and to demand the end of administrative detention and the freeing of all the Palestinian prisoners. From July 20-30 protests took place in cities in Germany, Sweden, the United States, Britain, Italy, Egypt, Greece, the Philippines, Ireland, Morocco, Belgium and elsewhere. In Italy, the city council in Naples overwhelmingly passed a otion – there were just two abstentions – to make Bilal an honorary citizen of the city.
The annual anti-internment march in Belfast, Ireland, which this year took place on Sunday (August 7) incorporated solidarity with Bilal and his fellow hunger strikers. The march is organised by the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association. The Irish revolutionary movement éirígí has been organising solidarity events across the island.
More protests are currently taking place and/or planned in different parts of the world, including a big public meeting in Read the rest of this entry »