Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons issued a statement on Sunday, September 25, 2011, stating that they plan to begin an open-ended hunger strike on September 27, 2011, demanding an end to the isolation of Ahmad Sa’adat, an end to isolation for all Palestinian political prisoners, and an end to the policies of repression and humiliation against visitors to the prisoners, including denial of family visits and visitors being stopped, searched, and impeded at Israeli occupation checkpoints. The prisoners are also demanding an end to abuse and humiliation of prisoners while they are transferred from one prison to another.
Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a Palestinian national leader, has been imprisoned by Israeli occupation forces since his kidnapping in March 13, 2006. He was abducted in a violent Israeli military raid from a Palestinian Authority prison where he had been unjustly held without charge or trial for over four years under U.S. and British guard. He has been in isolation for over two years following his calls for resistance to the Israeli assault on Gaza in winter 2009. (Learn more about Ahmad Sa’adat here.)
The prisoners’ statement follows:
- We, the comrades of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the Zionist prisons and detention centers, declare to the steadfast, struggling, brave masses of the Palestinian people and to all free people in the world:
- We announce that we will begin an open-ended hunger strike on Tuesday morning, September 27, 2011, in response to the official policies of the Zionist government and its fascist prison administration. We demand our rights and our dignity, as we struggle for the victory of our values and ideals.
- Our goals for this hunger strike:
- End the solitary confinement and isolation of our comrade, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the PLO Central Council, Ahmad Sa’adat, Abu Ghassan.
- End the policy of isolation for all prisoners;
- End the policy of systematic humiliation by the occupation army against the Palestinian people at checkpoints and crossings, particularly targeting visitors to prisons, and end the arbitrary denial of visits to the prisoners, especially the prisoners from the Gaza Strip. End the humiliation and abuse of prisoners during transfer.
- The principles of our revolution include the rejection of all forms of injustice, and for us to struggle and confront the occupier in all areas and places in our own manner. Accordingly, we call upon all of the Palestinian and Arab people, political forces and institutions, human rights and civil society organizations, to raise their voices for us, so that we do not become easy prey for a vicious occupier. We promise to all of our people, and to the legacy of the martyrs of Palestine, that we will continue on our path until victory.
- Great glory to the martyrs . . .
- Victory to the revolution . . .
- Victory is inevitable.
Solidarity with prison hunger strikers in California!
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat expresses its deepest solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike in Pelican Bay, California, in the United States. These prisoners, inside the racist and brutal U.S. prison system, have also stood together on hunger strike to demand an end to abuse and the use of isolation against prisoners, particularly long-term isolation, to demand proper food, and an end to torture and abuse.
They ended their strike in July 2011 after receiving assurances that their demands would be met; however, this has not happened, and prisoners have in fact been punished and further repressed for participating in the strike. The prisoners in California resumed their hunger strike on Monday, Sept 26th, 2011.
Across the world, prisoners stand on hunger strike, demanding dignity and justice. The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat salutes the California hunger strikers, expresses our deepest solidarity, and joins in their demands for dignity and justice. We also note the great leaders and great struggles that have emerged from the racist dungeons of U.S. prisons, from Attica to Soledad. The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat salutes the political prisoners in U.S. jails and the Guantanamo torture camp – and all jails in the world – including Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Ghassan Elashi and hundreds more, and demands their freedom.
Developments on Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger Strike: Action Needed!
Solidarity with Palestinian prisoners is more urgent than ever. Since the announcement of Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike against the isolation of Ahmad Sa’adat and all other prisoners held in solitary confinement, and against torture and humiliation for prisoners and their families and visitors, Israeli prison officials have stepped up their threats against Palestinian prisoners participating in the hunger strike.
The strike begins today, Tuesday, September 27. The Israeli Minister of Internal Security, at a meeting in Ramon and Naqab Prisons, has threatened to escalate repression against prisoners, threatening to move all prisoners participating in the hunger strike into isolation and solitary confinement, and to forcibly transfer those prisoners to other prisons in the occupation prison system. Prisoners are frequently transferred by occupation forces in an attempt to break up social bonds and disrupt organizing against prison repression.
For decades, Palestinian prisoners have engaged in hunger strikes to demand – and win – their rights, putting their bodies on the line once more to demand the freedom and dignity of themselves, their people, their homeland and their nation. Palestinian prisoners have announced that they will not be moved from their course by the threats of the occupiers. Prisoners’ representatives have confirmed that Sa’adat and fellow isolated leader Jamal Abu al-Haija, in isolation with Sa’adat, will join in the strike themselves.
Furthermore, prisoners announced that they will reject all prison orders, refusing to wear uniforms, stand up for daily counts, or accept food. The situation is more urgent than ever as prisoners begin their strike. The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat calls upon all solidarity, international justice and human rights groups and organizations to join us to demand freedom, dignity and justice for Palestinian prisoners.
TAKE ACTION TO SUPPORT AHMAD SA’ADAT AND ALL PALESTINIAN PRISONERS!
1. Picket, protest or call the Israeli embassy or consulate in your location and demand the immediate freedom of Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian political prisoners. Make it clear that you support the demands of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike!
2. Distribute the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat flyer (pdf) in your community at local events.
3. Write to the International Committee of the Red Cross and other human rights organizations to exercise their responsibilities and act swiftly to demand that the Israelis ensure that Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners are freed from punitive isolation. Email the ICRC, whose humanitarian mission includes monitoring the conditions of prisoners, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and inform them about the urgent situation of Ahmad Sa’adat.
4. Email the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat at email@example.com with announcements, reports and information about your local events, activities and flyer distributions.