call for action for Samer Issawi and Palestinian Political Prisoners in Zionist Jails

an update (note: from a Facebook update, so not entirely verified, but for the sake of passing on vital information I’m posting it):

by lawyer Jawad Boulos:”the prisoner Samer Issawi who has been on hunger strike for 206 days was just moved from Al Ramla hospital to the hospital Assaf Harofeh to put him under heavy observation.The lawyer considers this move as a dangerous indicator and demands everyone to move to save Samer’s life before it is too late

Allison Weir’s excellent: AP and Amnesty International: Are you just waiting for him to die?

Samer Issawi has lived for 33 years, 1 month, and 27 days. I hope he lives another day.

He has been on a hunger strike now for six and a half months. Gandhis’ longest hunger strike was 21 days.

The IRA’s Bobby Sands and nine other Irish hunger strikers died in 1981 after strikes lasting from 46 to 73 days.

Issawi’s internal organs are starting to shut down, he can no longer walk, he is reportedly suffering loss of vision and vomiting blood, it is difficult for him talk, and he is increasingly near death. He has lost half his body weight.

One of the main ideas behind such nonviolent resistance is that world awareness will bring pressure on behalf of the sufferer.

Yet, U.S. news outlets are not covering Issawi’s hunger strike. It appears that the Associated Press has not run a single news story on Issawi’s strike and refuses to answer queries on the subject.

AP’s lack of reporting on the situation is even more inexplicable given that there has been an international campaign on Issawi’s behalf.

Israeli is holding Issawi under “administrative detention,” a system by which Israel holds Palestinian men, women, and even children for as long as the Israeli government wishes without trials or charges; sometimes for decades. Since 2000 Israel has reportedly issued 20,000 such detention orders.

In response to Issawi’s hunger strike, Israel has begun punishing his family. Israel arrested his sister for a period and reportedly cut off water to her house. In early July the Israeli army demolished his brother’s home.

…Issawi is just one of a multitude of Palestinian hunger strikers, almost all ignored by U.S. media. Another, Ayman Sharawna, whose fast was interrupted for a short period, has been on a strike that, in total, is even longer that Issawi’s.

Amnesty International has also been inexplicably negligent.

I have just been informed that Amnesty International plans to issue an announcement about Issawi today. If it does so, this will be its first one on Issawi. In fact, during a hunger strike that lasted over six months, queries to Amnesty and searches of both the American and British websites, have turned up only one mention of him – in the last paragraph of an alert about other prisoners posted on the British site. It is not on the U.S. site.

SAMER ISSAWI IS DYING !! WE CANNOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN !!  [FACEBOOK GROUP SITE]

If Samer Issawi dies his blood is on our hands. Silence is complicity. Tweeting and sharing statuses is doing nothing for him !!

TAKE ACTION

Contact your MP and inform them about the case of Samer Issawi, and almost 200 prisoners held under a policy of ‘administrative detention’ by Israel.

Inform your MP that Israel is breaking international rights under Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which says that no person should be “subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention”.

Ask your MP to write to the Foreign Secretary to ask him to formally condemn administrative detention and call for the immediate end of its use by Israel.

DRAFT LETTER

Dear

I would like to bring your attention to the tragic case of Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi who has been on hunger strike for 196 days now (as of 29 January 2013), in protest of his administrative detention order. Samer’s life now hangs by a thread.

Israeli military uses administrative detention to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. There are currently 178 administrative detainees. For decades, Israel has used administrative detention to arrest and imprison Palestinians without cause. Many never know why they are being held and face months, even years imprisoned.

Israel’s use of administrative detention clearly breaks international rights under Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which says that no person should be “subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention”. This will only stop if the right pressure and influence is exerted and it should be lead by the British Government.

I would be grateful if you could write to the Foreign Secretary to ask him to formally condemn administrative detention and call for the immediate end of its use by Israel. I would also like to request that you raise this issue in parliament.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

BACKGROUND

Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi has been on hunger strike for 196 days now (as of 4 February 2013), whilst Tareq Qaadan, Jafar Azzidine and Yousef Yassin have been on hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention orders. Samer Issawi was freed from Israeli prison after last year’s exchange of a captured Israeli soldier for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. But today he is awaiting hearings in two Israeli courts, Ofer military court in the occupied West Bank and Israeli Magistrates Court in Jerusalem.

Thirty-two-year-old Samer is from the Palestinian village of Issawiyeh in Jerusalem. On 15 April 2002, Samer was captured by the Israeli army in Ramallah during the invasion of multiple West Bank cities, dubbed by Israel “Operation Defensive Shield.” Samer was sentenced to thirty years in prison on charges of possession of weapons and forming military groups in Jerusalem.

Nearly 10 years later, in October 2011 Samer was released along with 476 Palestinian prisoners as a result of an Egypt-brokered deal between Hamas and the Israeli government. However, on 7 July 2012, he was re-arrested near the Palestinian village of Hizma, an area within the boundaries of the municipality of Jerusalem. Israel wrongly and falsely claimed that Samer broke the terms of his release by leaving Jerusalem.

Samer’s life now hangs by a thread. On December 24th, Samer forwarded a short message via his lawyer, “My detention is unjust and illegal, just like the occupation is. My demands are legitimate and just. Thus I will not withdraw from the battle for freedom, waiting for either victory and freedom – or martyrdom.”

Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. There are currently 178 administrative detainees, a significant increase since the attacks on Gaza in November 2012.

We condemn the continued practice of administrative detention against Palestinians. We call on the international community to pressure their governments and Israel to end this arbitrary practice and to comply with international humanitarian and human rights law.

The plight of Samer Issawi needs to be brought to the world’s attention so that he, along with almost 200 Palestinians held under administrative detention can be put on trial or released. For decades, Israel has used administrative detention to arrest and imprison Palestinians without cause. Many never know why they are being held and face months if not years imprisoned.

THIS WILL ONLY STOP IF THE RIGHT PRESSURE AND INFLUENCE IS EXERTED AND IT SHOULD BE LED BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT.

PLEASE SHARE ANY IDEAS YOU MAY HAVE ON HOW WE COULD DO MORE…ANY PROTESTS .. PLEASE SHARE HERE. KEEP THE MOMENTUM UP !!

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3 comments

  1. Israeli policies are so uncivilized,so inhumane, and so barbaric. Where or where is the so-called “liberal media” in reporting on not just Samer’s situation but the thousands of others, including children, who are being held in Israeli jails/prisons due to “administrative detention.” If God is just, there will be retribution for such a government, its military and police, and all those who carry out the dictates of such a fascist-like state.

  2. If I have been indoctrinated by my government to classify everyone of its victims as a “terrorist,” it becomes easier to dehumanize him/her and even family members with the attitude that the end of destroying “terrorism” justifies the mean of brutal racist oppression.

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