Prisoners Day

Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike are facing sharp repression from the Israeli Prison Administration. As reported by Addameer and others, Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike have reported confiscation of personal items and warm clothes. In response to these attacks, prisoners in Nafha are threatening to begin to refuse water as well.

One group of Palestinian prisoners associated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine at Eshel prison participating in the strike have been transfered to Ohalei Kedar prison in retribution, while Hamas prisoners at Eshel prison on hunger strike were separated from one another and moved into the rooms of Fateh prisoners, in an attempt to exacerbate factional tensions.

At Ramon prison, Palestinian hunger strikers have been moved into isolation cells and hunger strikers throughout Israeli prisons are being denied access to independent doctors. Addameer lawyer Samer Sama’an has been banned from visiting all prisoners from 6 months, the second time in recent months that such a ban has been applied to an Addameer lawyer during prison hunger strikes.

In response to these attacks, Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike issued another statement reiterating their demands:

Despite the threat of the executioner, and the strength of his weapons, we will

1 – end the policy of solitary confinement
2 – close the file of administrative detention
3 – Cancel the actions taken after the capture of Shalit and the most important of which prevent the prisoners of Gaza Strip’s (456) prisoners from visiting their parents
4 – Allow higher education.

On Prisoner’s Day, this will not be just another day of another year. Therefore, they are preparing to confront the torturers, the executioners, and their weapons, and despite the failure of the international community, we stand armed with only our empty stomachs and solid will derived from the heroic march of our people who continue to resist, and we have faith in victory and the justice of our struggle for freedom.

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Khader Adnan, who engaged in a 66-day hunger strike demanding the end of administrative detention, returned home, to his village of ‘Arraba, outside Jenin last night, April 17, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. He was warmly welcomed by huge crowds, celebrating the return of this hero of the prisoner movement.

Adnan’s strike, which ended with the commitment of the occupation to release him on April 17,received widespread  international attention and solidarity and helped to revitalize support for the Palestinian prisoners’ movement.

More photos available from Addameer: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150970727315200.531927.82295125199&type=3

and Occupied Palestine: http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/khaderadnan-finally-home-photography/

The fifty international participants in the mission Welcome to Palestine announced on Monday they were beginning a hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners day on Tuesday, April 17 and to demand their basic right again to move freely to the occupied West Bank, including to Bethlehem.

All prisoners, including nearly 40 French people, are apparently being detained at the prison in Givon, near Tel Aviv. As of Monday at midday, they have partially achieved  the acceptance of their demands that be allowed to make a phone call. All of their communication via cell phone indicates that their morale is high, that there is a disorderly confusion within the Israeli police apparatus, and the awareness that ultimately the hardships they are experiencing are minor compared to the daily suffering of the Palestinian people. The members of our group are sharing their cells with the young Canadian, Charlotte Gaudreau, 18, for whom, ironically, the flight to Bethlehem was … her first.

Report via Russia Today: 

The majority of the 4,699 Palestinians being currently held in Israeli prisons refused their meals on Prisoners’ Day, while 1,200 of them promise to hunger strike indefinitely to protest against unfair conditions.

The other 2,300 have refused to eat any food for the whole of Tuesday.

Later on Tuesday Israel is to release Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, 33, who attracted worldwide media attention after spending 66 days on hunger strike – the longest in Palestinian history.

In Palestinian authority practically every person has a relative or acquaintance that has spent or is spending time in Israeli prison. Palestinians consider those jailed as freedom fighters, whichever setup they belong to, be it Hamas, Islamic Jihad or any other Palestinian organization.

Israel has 17 detention facilities across the country and the West Bank. According to Israeli data, 3,864 of the total number of prisoners are from the occupied West Bank, 475 are from Gaza and 360 are Arab Israelis or from Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

The Palestinian data says that 534 prisoners – more than one in 10 – are serving a life sentence.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem also gives figure of 203 jailed Palestinian minors, 31 of whom are under 16 years old.

Israeli also use an “administrative detention” legislative that dates back to British protectorate of the region. This procedure allows Israel to detain suspects indefinitely without charges being brought against them, simply by repeating the implied maximum six-month periods of detention time after time.

At the moment there are 319 persons under “administrative detention” in Israel.

Last year the number of Palestinians in Israeli jails considerably reduced after the release of 1,027 prisoners in exchange for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a swap deal between Palestine’s Hamas and official Tel-Aviv after years of negotiations.

All in all, since 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem as a result of Six-Day War, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, some 700,000 Palestinians have seen the daylight from behind the bars of Israeli prisons. This is equivalent to 20 per cent of the total population of the Palestinian Authority.

The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) is pleased to be able to mark Palestinian Prisoners Day by announcing that the European Union has declined to renew a contract with private security company G4S amidst concerns raised by MEPs and campaign groups about the role the company plays in equipping Israeli prisons in which Palestinian political prisoners are held in violation of international law.

G4S has provided security services to the buildings of the European Parliament since 2008 but the contract award notice (service contract 118611-2012) published on the EU official tenders’ website on April 13th shows that G4S hast lost its contract with the European Parliament.

In March 2011, a group of 28 Members of the European Parliament, including 8 MEPs from Denmark and 6 from the UK wrote a letter to former EU Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, demanding that the Parliament dropped G4S as the principal security contractor if G4S continued to provide security services to illegal Israeli settlements, checkpoints and Israeli prisons at which Palestinians are detained. Their demands were a response to investigations conducted by the Danish NGO DanWatch and a report made by the Israeli research project “Who Profits” which revealed and documented G4S’ implication in illegal activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

With the assistance of lawyers, campaigners from ECCP member organisations also raised the issue with various EU officials, in cooperation with Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Merton Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods and the Waltham Forest Palestine Solidarity Campaign. G4S held a meeting for MEPs and EU officials in an attempt to deflect the criticisms but failed to provide sufficient guarantees that it would abandon all of its illegal activities.

“The non-renewal of this contract with a company that is deeply complicit with Israeli violations of international law is a vital step towards ensuring that Israel and corporations comply with basic legal standards” said ECCP chairperson Pierre Galand.

“We also salute and thank those MEPs that we are pleased to have worked alongside on this effective campaign.”

“People of conscience across Europe are inspired by the new wave of peaceful resistance by Palestinian prisoners against routine mistreatment, torture and imprisonment without trial.”

Palestinian prisoners’ day this year takes place in the context of inspiring resistance and hunger strikes, including the high profile hunger strikes of Hana Shalabi and Khader Adnan, two Palestinians held by Israel without charge. Palestinian prisoners are set to engage with a new round of civil disobedience. Prisoners’ day is being marked with demonstrations and activities across Europe.

For more information on the Palestinian prisoners’ day see:

http://www.addameer.org/einside.php?id=7&srcopt=1&page=2&srckey=Keywords&fromdate=From%20Date&todate=To%20Date&cat_year=Year

http://www.addameer.org/etemplate.php?id=460

GAZA (Alresalah.ps) — Confrontations erupted today Tuesday in Nafha jail between the IOF and Palestinian detainees, who refused to end their hunger-strike.

The confrontations took place in Nafha jail, when the Palestinian prisoners rejected the Israeli threats and refused to end their hunger-strike that had been undertaken in a protest against the harsh conditions they live in the Israeli jails, Naser Abu Foul, a Palestinian activist, said.

Arguments happened between prisoners and IOF; special Israeli forces intervened to oppress the detainees, thus.

No detainees have been wounded, Abu Foul reported.

Marking the annual Palestinian Prisoners Day of 2012, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights releases the film

“Palestinians Behind Bars: Prisoners Without Human Rights”

This short documentary addresses the issues of solitary confinement and other measures of inhuman and degrading treatment to which Palestinian prisoners are subjected in Israeli jails. The film further highlights the human rights violations related to family visits and the Israeli abuse of administrative detention.

Help give a voice to those who are isolated behind bars and calling out for justice through a wide distribution of this video.

The Film is available online:

Or

http://www.pchrgaza.org

Tuesday, April 17

6 pm – 8 pm

Sydney town Hall

Sydney, Australia

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/275990525816065/

Students for Justice in Palestine invites you to a rally from 6pm to 8pm onTuesday, April 17, on Palestine Prisoners’ Day. Meet outside Sydney Town Hall. Our lips will be silenced with tape, symbolising the purpose of ‘administrative detention’, which is to silence Palestinian resistance against Israeli apartheid.

CJPP will support this by encouraging participants and passers-by to sign a postcard to a Palestinian political prisoner. We encourage everyone to join Students for Justice in Palestine for a silent gathering in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners.

To mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2012, on Tuesday 17th April from 1-2pm the IPSC will be holding a symbolic lunchtime demonstration outside EU House, Molesworth Street (Dublin 2) to highlight the European Union’s ongoing facilitation of Israel’s apartheid policies and war crimes – including the imprisonment of over 4,400 political prisoners.

Of these prisoners, over 300 have been interned without facing charge or trial under the Administrative Detention regime. Recently, two high profile successful hunger strikes by prisoners Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi have brought this issue a great amount of coverage. Several other prisoners are also currently on hunger strike, and it has been annoucned that some 1,600 mopre are due to embark on an open ended hunger strike on April 17th to coincide with Prisoners’ Day.

Following the demo, activists will move to Grafton Street and conduct an information stall between 2.30 and 5.30pm, distributing information about Palestinian political prisoners.

– Why are we targetting the EU?

The EU is Israel’s biggest trading partner, and the Additional Protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an EC-Israel Association on an EC-Israel Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA) is currently being debated at the European Parliament and is likely to be adopted, thus increasing this trade.

We are calling on Irish MEPs in the EU Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade committees to vote ‘No’ to ACAA, and no vote in the plenary session of the European Parliament in June. Israeli apartheid must not be rewarded, it must be opposed by concrete actions by governments who declare they support human rights. Appeasing apartheid is simply not an option.

You can also take action on this by emailing all Irish MEPs here: http://www.ipsc.ie/press-releases/e-action-item-europea…ement

– Prisoners, Internment and Apartheid

Amnesty International says Israel uses Administrative Detention “to lock up Palestinian activists without charge or trial”. As Amnesty notes, these detention orders can be repeatedly renewed, “so in effect detainees can be held indefinitely. The process violates their right to a fair trial which is guaranteed by international law”.

However, Administrative Detention is only one aspect of the larger prison regime used by Israel to suppress Palestinian resistance to occupation and Apartheid. The vast majority of political prisoners are ‘convicted’ by non-jury Israeli Military Courts. These courts, biased from the outset, do not meet international fair trial standards. As Amnesty points out, Palestinians “continue to face a wide range of abuses of their right to a fair trial. They are routinely interrogated without a lawyer and, although they are civilians, are tried before military not ordinary courts”.

Furthermore, Amnesty says that ”consistent allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, including of children, were frequently reported. Among the most commonly cited methods were beatings, threats to the detainee or their family, sleep deprivation, and being subjected to painful stress positions for long periods. Confessions allegedly obtained under duress were accepted as evidence”. It is worth noting that Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are subject to Israeli military law, while Israel’s illegal settlers are governed by Israeli civil law – a clear example of Israel’s Apartheid system.

Since the beginning of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, over 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel. This forms approximately 20% of the total Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories. Considering the fact that the majority of those detained are male, the number of Palestinians detained forms approximately 40% of the total male Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories – a truly staggering figure.

In turn, the brutal and repressive prison regime is only one aspect of the occupation of Palestine by Israel and its associated Apartheid regime. Indeed, when one considers the ongoing siege of Gaza and fragmentation of the West Bank, Palestine can be viewed as one large open air prison camp.

For more information about Palestinian political prisoners, please see the ADDAMEER website: http://www.addameer.org/

For more background to the EU and Israel, please see the relevant section of our website here: http://www.ipsc.ie/the-issues/the-eu-and-israel

Related Link: http://www.ipsc.ie