Wednesday, April 14, 2010

IPSC/éirígí joint demo for release of Palestinian political prisoners

Saturday April 17 marks the 34th anniversary of Palestinian Political Prisoners day. As part of this, International events have been organised around the world to highlight the ongoing abuses suffered by detainees at the hands of their Israeli captives and to demand the immediate release of ALL Palestinian political prisoners.

Since 1967, the Zionist regime has detained more than 650,000 Palestinians, a figure which is 20% of the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza and roughly 40% of the male population of those areas. The vast majority of detainees have been held in prisons within the Israeli state in beach of International humanitarian law.

Under the Geneva Convention, it is forbidden to remove prisoners from occupied territories to the state of the occupier or elsewhere. Article 49 states: "....forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons (including prisoners) from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive."

Currently there are believed to be over 7000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails for resisting the zionist occupation of their lands. This includes around 300 children. Also amongst those detained are 18 democratically elected representatives of the Palestinian people. Up to 800 detainees are serving life sentences.

Approximately 300 prisoners are interned without trial in what is known as “administrative detention” while those who have been “convicted” have been tried by heavily biased non-jury Israeli military courts that are anathema to any notion of justice. These 'courts' and 'trials' have been repeatedly condemned by Palestinian Human Rights organisations as well as by Amnesty International and other international human rights groups.

The conditions in which they are held are appalling and in violation of International law, with ill-treatment, physical and psychological torture and even death a regular occurrence at the hands of their Israeli captors.

Prisoners endure arbitrary strip-searching, are beaten with batons, tear gassed, shot with live ammunition, have their meagre possessions confiscated and placed in solitary confinement for very long periods of time.

Sickness is rife amongst prisoners as a result of cramped, unhealthy living conditions. Prisoners meals are insufficient in quantity, poor in quality and often inedible, leading to many cases of malnutrition. Sick prisoners are routinely denied proper medical care, with others being treated as guinea pigs being tested with dangerous new medicines.

Many political prisoners, particulary those from Gaza, have been repeatedly denied visits from family members. According to the Al Mazen Center for Human Rights over 900 Palestinian detainees from Gaza have been deprived of their right to have family visits since July 2007.

As an act of solidarity, on April 1, Palestinian prisoners in ten Israeli jails announced a strike until the end of April. The prisoners stopped meeting their families and commenced a hunger strike for five days commencing on April 7, again on April 12 and will continue on April 17, 22, and 27 to show their support for their Gazan colleagues and to protest against the ill-treatment and abuse that their own families receive during their visits.

Palestinian Political Prisoners day will be marked here in Ireland with a demonstration to be held outside the Israeli Embassy on Pembroke Road in Dublin 4 at 2PM.

As well as demanding the release of ALL Palestinian political prisoners, the protests will also focus on the specific cases of two prisoners. Those are the co-ordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee against the Wall Abdallah Abu-Rahmah, as well as Ahmed Sa'adat the Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), both of whom currently remain in Israeli custody.

The demonstration has been jointly organised by éirígí and the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC). Among those who are set to address the rally are IPSC spokesperson Freda Hughes and éirígí spokesperson Dáithí Mac An Mhaistir.

Show your support for an end to the abuse and torture of Palestinian political prisoners by Israel.

Show your support for the immediate release of all Palestinian political prisoners.

Show your support for a sovereign and independent Palestine free from Israeli occupation.

Join the demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy, 122 Pembroke Road, Dublin 4 this Saturday at 2pm

For more information on Palestinian Prisoners day click here

For more information on the IPSC click here

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