PROTEST IN SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIAN PRISONERS MASS HUNGER STRIKE
As the mass hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners demanding an end to Israels illegal practice of administrative detention enters its 46th day, Israel is getting more and more ruthless towards the hunger strikers. Human rights group Addameer report that "The Israeli prison guards and special units beat and insult the hunger strikers on a daily basis.. their clothes and basic possessions have been confiscated; and they are only allowed to keep cups to drink water. In some prisons they are forced to drink dirty water from taps or to walk 40 meters in order to get water.. nurses are using urine sample containers to give hunger striker their essential salt and wate and guards delay taking the hunger strikers to restrooms.. hunger strikes being fined up to 475 NIS.." Even basic Hygiene products like toothbrushes and shampoo have been taken away. 80 hunger strikers have now been hospitalized in critical health, with two already having to undergo surgery. Many are being shackled to their hospitals beds 24 hours a day.
Israel understands the real strength of those starving men, the power they yield through their resistance over the occupation that it feels threatened. Threatened so much that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to implement a bill that would allow the force-feeding of hunger strikers. His spokesman Mark Regev explained "People go on a hunger strike for political reasons ... and the consequence could be political damage to the state. The state also has the right to stop the strike." The UN Human Rights Commission has declared that forced feeding of prisoners is a a form of torture and prohibited even the threat of force feeding, and the World Medical Association specifically prohibited forced feeding in its Declaration of Tokyo regarding torture.
But Israeli doctors in the past haven't shied away from assisting in the systematic torture of Palestinian prisoners by giving medical evaluations to interrogator as to the ability of the prisoner to survive forms of torture. Often these 'doctors' get it wrong as in the case of Palestinian father Arafat Jaradat who was tortured to death in Feb 2013 after Israeli doctors gave the green light to interrogators to continue their barbarism.
At this critical time its imperative that activists around the world show their solidarity with the hunger strikers through protests and other actions. With this in mind we are bringing our next protest in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners forward a week to this friday, 13th June 2014.
AYMAN AL-TABEESH - 102 DAYS ON HUNGER STRIKE
On 17th Feb 2013 Israeli soldiers abducted 33 years old Ayman Al-Tabeesh from his home in Dura, near al-Khalil, and caged him at the G4S secured Ofer prison - indefinitely on an illegal rolling administrative detention order with no charge, and no trial.
To protest he went on a 105 day hunger strike, only stopping once Israel had agreed in writing that they would not renew his administrative detention. Yet in Jan 2014 Israel reneged on its written agreement and issued a new administrative detention order. As a result Ayman started a second hunger strike on 28th Feb 2014.
After 70 days he lost over 25kg in weight and his condition is so critical that he has been moved twice to different hospitals. He eye sight is now suffering and he was developed kidney and stomach problems. He can no longer feel his limbs as numbness overtakes them. Today Ayman Al-Tabeesh completes his 102 days on hunger strike.
For our protest of 9th May we received a short message from the Muhammed Al-Tabeesh the brother of hunger striker Ayman Al-Tabeesh. Muhammed himself was a hunger striker and was released from the occupations prison just 4 months ago. The message was written especially for the protest, it reads:
"Thank you for standing besides us in supporting the steadfastness of my brother Ayman Al-Tabeesh in his hunger strike.
Thank you for your humanity in supporting the Palestinian prisoners, especially the hunger strikers.
We need you to tell the international community of Israel's criminal brutality against our prisoners, the violation of their rights. The occupations illegal never ending administrative detention orders is nothing less than a slow death for Palestinian prisoners."
LETTER WRITTEN BY HUNGER STRIKING ADMINISTRATIVE DETAINEES ON DAY 36 OF THEIR HUNGER STRIKE
"We have no guns, no rifles, no cannons; we are armed with the weapon of hunger. This is how we resist this sword pointed at our necks, the sword of administrative detention, holding us without charges or trial."
In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
All praise be to Allah and prayers and peace be upon his Messenger, who bore much patience and hardship for the sake of right and truth.
From the heart of our cells, from our pain and suffering, our hunger that weakened us, and our fragile bodies, our legs that cannot hold us anymore, and our weak arms, we remain steadfast and continue our strike.
Our bodies are collapsing, we can barely move our eyes, our heartbeats slowly fading away, and even writing this letter required hard work. We are writing this letter to express our suffering, the abuse carried out against us every single day. Our battle today entered its 36 day, and we are continuing with this strike.
We are sending a scream, a shout, from behind the walls of our dark cells, between the jaws of death and our jailers, while death stands in front of us, inhabits our cells.. We don’t know who will be taken by death first, but the jailor is just waiting, betting on our defeat.
Our great beloved Palestinian people, will you allow us to become easy prey for the fangs of our merciless jailers? We are behind bars, spending years of our lives for Palestine, for its liberation and the freedom of its people.
The Palestinian people are steadfast on their land; as any other nation, they have the right to freedom, independence and dignity. Our battle, as administrative detainees, is open-ended. We started our hunger strike 36 days ago, while this battle is just one of countless battles for freedom, it is a battle against injustice wherever its exists.
We have no guns, no rifles, no cannons; we are armed with the weapon of hunger. This is how we resist this sword pointed at our necks, the sword of administrative detention, holding us without charges or trial.
Our great Palestinian nation, defenders of justice all over the world, organizations struggling for Palestinian rights, all governments and free media outlets; you are our only hope. You are the hope of solidarity and support while we hold this lengthy battle, the battle of every Palestinian, for liberation, and dignity. And for the end of this illegitimate administrative detention, indefinitely holding us prisoner without charges or trial.
Peace and Allah's blessing and mercy be upon you - your hunger striking brothers in the Zionist jails of darkness and oppression.
Representing the detainees;
detainee Khalil Mousa Zawahra,
and detainee Mousa Yacoub Ma’marjy.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
G4S ANNOUNCEMENT OF ENDING ISRAEL CONTRACTS & OUR CAMPAIGN
On 6th June 2014 the Financial Times reported that G4S has announced for the first time that it will end all its contacts with Israeli prisons within 3 years:
"G4S has confirmed that it will end all its Israeli prison contracts within the next three years after an annual general meeting that was severely disrupted by human rights protesters.. Mr Almanza said for the first time that the move would also include prison service contracts all over Israel."*
This follows last years announcement that due to "reputational dangers" to their business, mentioning the protests outside their London Headquarters, G4S would exit the contracts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories when they terminate in 2015. However, at the time they still maintained that they would continue their prison contracts in Israel.
Having held regular protests outside G4S HQ in London for nearly two years, since August 2012 when the Palestinian Prisoners Campaign was launched at Al Quds Day, we are pleased but cautious about G4S's announcement. Whilst we congratulate all the dedicated activists who kept the pressure on G4S to finally force them to announce they will abandon all prison contracts in Israel, we understand that these are just empty words and until the day they actually pull out of Israel our campaign against G4S continues. In fact, in order to push G4S into following through with concrete action our campaign actually needs to step up a gear.
With regards to the Palestinian mass hunger strike against Israel's illegal practice of administrative detention where more than 2,000 Palestinians are caged every year without charge or trial for an indefinite period of time, it must be remembered that this is another crime which G4S is inextricably complicit in. 86% of administrative detainees are caged in prisons secured by G4S.
CHILD PRISONERS & WOMEN PRISONERS - THE HARES BOYS & SHIREEN ISSAWI & LENA JARBONI
We will of course be continuing our campaigns for the Hares Boys - 5 Palestinian boys tortured at the notorious G4S secured Israeli children's dungeon at Al Jalame and then caged at Israel's G4S secured Megiddo prison, and are facing 25 years for a crime that didn't even take place. And we will continue our campaign for women prisoners, in particular Shireen Issawi, and Lena Jarboni who has endured 11 years locked up and abused in Israel's G4S secured HaSharon prison.
LIVE UPDATES DURING PROTEST
We will, inshAllah, be tweeting live (hash tags #Salt_and_Water #StopG4S #StopAD ) from the protest with live photos being uploaded to our twitter and facebook page. So if you can't join us on the day, please help us by sharing the photos as they get uploaded.