Over 1600 Palestinian prisoners are currently engaged in a steadfast and open-ended hunger strike that launched on April 17, 2012 - Palestinian Prisoners' Day. Ahmad Sa'adat, Palestinian national leader and General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is among these prisoners, once again taking up the "Battle of the Empty Stomachs" to demand justice and dignity, and has now been on hunger strike for 12 days.
Palestinian hunger strikers are demanding an end to isolation and solitary confinement; an end to administrative detention; access to family visits for all prisoners, including those from Gaza; and access to education and media. Sa'adat has been held in isolation for over three years, since March 2009.
Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike have demanded international solidarity. Take action today to stand for freedom, dignity and justice for Ahmad Sa'adat and all Palestinian Prisoners! See below for actions you can take.
In a breaking news report, Palestinian political prisoners from the PFLP have rejected an occupation offer to end Sa'adat's isolation if they would break the hunger strike. They refused - the hunger strike includes prisoners from all Palestinian factions, united in their demands.
A new letter from Ahmad Sa'adat - to his family, the Palestinian and Arab people and the world - was released today, smuggled from his isolation cell.
It calls for support for the hunger strike on Palestinian, Arab and international levels:
Dearest Umm Ghassan, and all my loved ones;
Ghassan, Amal, Iba, Loay, Sumoud, Yassar, and my whole family;
Do not worry, my health is much better than in the previous hunger strike, and I am confident it will remain so. Thank you for your continual support to my position in this hunger strike. As is the case in every strike, they took all of our electrical appliances, canteen, clothing...we only have left prison clothes, some change of underwear, pajamas, towels, soap and toothpaste.
All of us have lost about 5-7 kilograms in weight, but everyone is in good health and most importantly, high morale, and are determined to continue the strike. We are confident of victory, relying on the justice of our cause and our demands, and the support of the masses of our people, our nation, and the free world - individuals, organizations and institutions - standing, as always alongside our just struggle.
These demands include a number of legitimate human rights under international law, including abolition of solitary confinement as a dangerous form of torture with no security or legal justification and contrary to international humanitarian law and all international conventions that prohibit torture. We are also demanding an end to the prohibition of family visits to the prisoners from Gaza for more than seven years, as well as interference with family visitors from the West Bank under the pretext of 'security reasons', and demanding that such visits be allowed for extended as well as immediate family.
What we need from the masses of the people, political forces and institutions is to raise the voices and the call of our just demands of the prisoners with a unified voice, and not subject the cause of the prisoners to internal disputes or the management of division.
This strike includes participation from all political forces and factions, without exception, and the best gift from the political forces supporting us is to implement agreements for unity, on which the ink is not yet dry. Such unity is an essential foundation, the most important pillar to achieve our just national goals.
In conclusion, I salute and thank all of the Palestinian, Arab and international forces standing beside our just struggle.
Forward to victory!
April 24, 2012
Eighth day of hunger strike
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat is re-circulating the following action calls from theSamidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, and encourage all to take action to support the brave prisoners once more putting their bodies on the line for their freedom and the freedom of Palestine:
1. Sign a letter demanding the Israeli state implement all of the demands of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners.Tell the Israeli Prison Services that the world is watching! Click here to sign.
2. Join a protest or demonstration for Palestinian prisoners. Major marches will take place in Edinburgh on April 28, at 12 noon, assembling at Charlotte Square; and in London on April 28 at 4 pm, across from 10 Downing Street. Organizing an event, action or forum on Palestinian prisoners on your city or campus? Use this form to contact us and we will post the event widely. If you need suggestions, materials or speakers for your event, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Contact your government officials and demand an end to international silence and complicity with the repression of Palestinian political prisoners. In Canada, Call the office of John Baird, Foreign Minister, and demand an end to Canadian support for Israel and justice for Palestinian prisoners, at : 613-990-7720; Email: email@example.com. In the US, call the office of Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs (1.202.647.7209). Demand that Jeffrey Feltman bring this issue urgently to his counterparts in Israel.
4. Write to the International Committee of the Red Cross and demand they uphold their duties to protect the rights of Palestinian political prisoners. Click here to sign a one-minute letter and make your voice heard!
5. Distribute materials, including factsheets and videos, telling the story of Palestinian prisoners. Click here for videos and here for factsheets.
Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat
April 28, 2012