Vigil outside the Mail Box B1 1 Birmingham
Tuesday 30th May 6-7pm
Yesterday after 41 days on hunger strike , Palestinian prisoners suspended the strike after Israeli authorities yielded to the demand to enter negotiations with the prisoners’ chosen leaders.
Issa Qaraqe, director of the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Commission , speaking on May 28th declared that “80 percent of the demands” of the prisoners were achieved in the strike, calling it “an important achievement to build on in the future on the basis of the protection of the prisoners’ rights and dignity
In recognition of this victory PSC and organizing partners have called off the actions planned for Tuesday May 30th including a solidarity fast and rally outside of the BBC
It is appalling that over 1500 people had to place their lives at risk to be granted basic human rights such as proper medical care and family visits. But the hunger strike was of course about more than that. It was an assertion of the broader Palestinian struggle for freedom equality and justice. The hunger strike has been an action which has galvanized Palestinian society and emphasized the centrality of the Prisoners movement to the struggle of the Palestinian people as a whole.
So we salute the courage of the strikers their families and all of those groups in Palestine and beyond who campaigned in support for their action, and also commit ourselves to continuing efforts in our broader campaign for an end to the oppression of the Palestinian people and the achievement of a just peace.
In the UK our immediate focus must now turn to the election campaign and to ensuring that we all put every effort into ensuring that the cause of Justice for the Palestinians is not lost in the fog of election debate. To date over 1000 have contacted your candidates in our vote Palestine campaign. Please add your voice by sending an email to your candidates here
Let us remember the words Marwan Barghouti sent out to the world as he entered the 6th day of the hunger strike : “I call on you to stand up for those thrown into dark cells to be forgotten. I call on you to support the legitimate demands of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and to uphold international law. I call on you to support the freedom and dignity of the Palestinian people, so peace can prevail.”
Ben Jamal, Director Palestine Solidarity Campaign
|Over 1500 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails have gone on hunger strike since the 17th of April demanding improvement in the treatment they receive in the prisons. They are demanding two monthly visits and an extension of the visits from 45 minutes to 90 minutes and allow children to visit their mothers without barriers so they can hug and kiss them.||The prisoners demand an end to administrative detention and solitary confinement. Today Over 500 Palestinians are held without charge or trial indefinitely under administrative detention orders. The United Nations has denounced Israel’s practice of administrative detention where by Palestinians are caged indefinitely, without charge, on the whim of the Israeli military.|
|The prisoners demand proper health treatment for sick prisoners. Ramla prison hospital where they are currently taken is unfit for medical care. It has been described by patients as “a slaughterhouse, not a hospital, with jailers wearing doctors’ uniforms.”
The prisoners demand prisoners not be charged for their medical care.
|The prisoners demand that kitchens are restored in all prisons and place them under the supervision of Palestinian detainees to prepare their own meals. The kitchens in most prisons in Israel where Palestinian political prisoners are caged are run by Israeli criminal prisoners. According to testimony from Nafha prison, Israeli criminal prisoners routinely urinate and spit in food prepared for Palestinian prisoners. Witnesses have also seen them stirring the soup for Palestinian prisoners with a broom that they previously used to clean the floor.|
|The prisoners demand humanitarian treatment of prisoners during transportation and transfer, returning the prisoners promptly to prison from clinic and courts. At present prisoner are held shackled in an iron box on the transportation vehicle, the journey of a few miles from the prison to the court can take a full day with no access to a toilet and sometimes no food. political prisoners during the transport.||The prisoners demand that they be allowed to receive cloths, food and reading material from their families during visits. Israel has turned prisons in to money making enterprises with prisoners essentially forced to pay for their own imprisonment. Israel deliberately fails to provide Palestinian prisoners the basic essentials like edible food, cloths (underwear, shoes..) and hygiene products (soap, toothbrush..), and doesn’t allow families to bring these during visits, forcing prisoners to buy them at the extortionately priced prison shop.|