Woroud Qasem, from al-Tira in occupied Palestine ’48 was released today, August 9, 2012 after serving nearly six years in prison. She was welcomed back to her village by hundreds of people who came to greet her; she was one of a few women political prisoners who were not released in the October 2011 prisoner exchange. She delivered a speech upon her return, calling upon all institutions to highlight the struggle and suffering of Palestinian political prisoners.
See video of her release:
Also released today is former hunger striker Bilal Diab, whose 78-day hunger strike alongside fellow administrative detainee Thaer Halahleh lasted throughout the April-May 2012 mass prisoner hunger strike. Diab was also welcomed by hundreds who greeted him as a hero, as he returned to his village Kufr al-Rai, outside Nablus. Among others, his fellow former hunger strikers and heroes of the “battle of the empty stomachs,” Halahleh and Khader Adnan, were among the first to greet him.
Long term hunger striker Hassan Safadi, who was in administrative detention as well, and who Israel refused to release in June in violation of the agreement ending the April-May 2012 hunger strike, remains on hunger strike, demanding his release, alongside fellow prisoners Samer al-Barq, Ayman Sharawna and Samer al-Issawi.
Linah Alsaafin interviewed his family for the Electronic Intifada, as well as covering the releases of Qasem and Diab.