Palestinian prisoners associated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) began a hunger strike last week on September 27 against conditions imposed on detainees by the zionist regime.
The prisoners are calling for an end to the humiliating treatment and abuse of prisoners, and of those trying to visit them. They are also demanding an end to the solitary confinement of Ahamd Sa’adat, general secretary of the PFLP.
Sa’adat was arrested in January 2002 by Palestinian Authority security at the behest of Israel. He was held without charge or trial at Jericho prison until March 2006, when Israeli forces laid siege to the prison and kidnapped Sa’adat and several comrades.
The zionists eventually tried Sa’adat, convicting him of membership of a prohibited organisation [the PFLP], of holding a post in a prohibited organisation, and of incitement. For these ‘crimes’ he was sentenced to 30 years in December 2008, and has been held in solitary ever since. He has now joined the hunger strike as well.
The Israeli prison regime responded immediately by threatening to increase repression against striking prisoners, by moving them into isolation or to other prisons entirely. This prison transfer tactic has been used frequently by the regime to break up comrades and to disrupt the organisation of resistance within the prison system.
The prisoners answered by announcing that they will escalate their campaign by rejecting all prison orders and refusing to wear their uniforms.
As republicans mark the 30th anniversary of the ending of the 1981 Irish hunger strikes, we in éirígí extend our solidarity to the Palestinian prisoners who have been steadfast in their resistance to the attempts of the zionist regime to subjugate them. We also once more pay tribute to our comrades in the PFLP, who have taken this action for the sake of all prisoners of the Israeli occupation, and for their families and friends as well.
On Wednesday 5th October, éirígí will hold a candlelit vigil in support of the prisoners on hunger strike outside the Israeli embassy, Pembroke Road, Dublin. The vigil will begin at 6.30pm. Bígí linn.
We print below the prisoners’ statement announcing the commencement of the hunger strike.
“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:
1. 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.
2. End the policy of isolation for all prisoners;
3. 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.”
Click here for previous coverage of the issue of Palestinian prisoners including Video footage from a demo outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin