April 17th – Palestinian political prisoners’ day
WFTU international campaign for Palestine
Today in Israeli prisons there are 4,600 Palestinians imprisoned militants. Of these:
560 have been convicted to life imprisonment by Israeli courts. 220 are children. 24 are Members of the Parliament. 204 prisoners have died in Israeli prisons.
Among the prisoners there are great Palestinians and Arab militants who have dedicated their lives to the struggle of the Palestinian People to get their own independent homeland.
The WFTU from the first day of its establishment is firmly on the side of the Palestinian People.
On April 17th is the International Day of Action for Palestinian people for the release of all prisoners in Israeli jails. All of those militants kept illegally and undemocratically by the imperialists and their organs.
For years now the International Organizations are limited to words. They show indifference. They allow the government of Israel to kill, to imprison, and to terrorize the people of the region.
The WFTU in a joint meeting with the GUPW [General Union of Palestinian Women] held recently in Ramallah decided to call upon all our affiliates and friends to act on April 17. To submit statements to the Israeli embassies in their countries, as well as international organizations and to demand the immediate release of all the militants from Israeli prisons.
We ask you all to act. To express active solidarity with the best possible way. All together on April 17 calling for:
- The immediate release of all political prisoners kept unfairly in Israeli prisons.
- To stop the settlement activity and the dismantling of the settlements.
- The immediate lifting of the unfair and inhumane blockade of Gaza Strip, the withdrawal of the Israeli army from all occupied territories, which is there since 1967, including the Golan Height and the Shebaa area of southern Lebanon.
- The demolition of the racist wall.
- The creation of an independent, democratic and truly free Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and the return of all Palestinian refugees to their homeland.
- The international community to undertake its responsibilities and to implement all decisions of the United Nations and the Security Council!
Send your protest letters, photos and statements to the following e-mail addresses:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- UN Human Rights Council: email@example.com- Israeli Foreign Minister: firstname.lastname@example.org-High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy: COMM-SPP-HRVP-ASHTON@ec.europa.eu
By Adri Nieuwhof, electronic intifada
During the hunger strike of Khader Adnan, a global network called for international action on April 17 , Palestinian Political Prisoners’ Day. Many organizations responded to the call and events will take place around the world in support of Palestinian political prisoners. Last week, the World Federation of Trade Unions with 80 million members in 120 countries joined the event by releasing a call for action [above]to their members, just like the International Solidarity Movement. In a video, Palestinian former political prisoner Dr. Abdul-Aziz Omar from Jerusalem expresses his support and shares his thoughts on the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. Omar was deported to Gaza in the recent prisoner exchange in October 2011. Samidoun [Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network], a member of the global network, circulated the following action alert:
April 17, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, is a global day of action for Palestinian prisoners. Samidoun is part of this global network calling for international action. Events will take place around the world in support of Palestinian prisoners (see below for details.) As Prisoners’ Day dawns, 10 Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike, including Bilal Diab and Tha’ir Halahleh, two administrative detainees held without charge or trial who are both nearing 50 days of hunger strike. Thousands more Palestinian prisoners plan to join in a massive hunger strike to launch April 17. International solidarity is needed!
There are approximately 4,600 Palestinian political prisoners inside Israeli jails. Palestinians, living under occupation and oppression for nearly 64 years, have been targeted for mass imprisonment and detention by the Israeli occupation. Nearly every Palestinian family has been touched by political imprisonment – a father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, cousin, uncle, aunt – from the elderly to children.
Palestinian political prisoners are also political leaders. 27 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat, Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi, and the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Abdel-Aziz Dweik, who represents Hamas, are held in Israeli prisons. Ameer Makhoul, one of the Palestinian prisoners who is also a citizen of Israel, was general director of Ittijah – The Union of Arab Community-Based Associations and the Chairman of the Public Committee for the Defense of Political Freedom.
Writers, scholars, students and artists are also Palestinian political prisoners, including Palestinian scholar Dr. Ahmed Qatamesh, who has now been held without trial or charge for nearly a year, Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq, a professor at An-Najah University whose administrative detention was just extended for an additional six months, and Ola Haniyeh, a student leader at Bir Zeit University and a leading political prisoner solidarity activist abducted just before student elections and currently held under interrogation.
We demand the immediate release of all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. They have been targeted by an unfair and unequal legal system. Their imprisonment reflects Israel’s inherent system of injustice and racism. In addition, Israel must immediately halt its practices of:
Torture and ill-treatment of detainees.
Solitary confinement and isolation.
The use of military courts in the occupied Palestinian territory that illegally try civilians.
Undermining a fair trial by using secret evidence against the accused.
Arresting vulnerable groups, such as children, disabled, elderly and ill people.
1. Organize or attend an Event or Action marking Palestinian Prisoners’ Day!
2. Write to the International Committee of the Red Cross to demand it fulfil its responsibilities to protect the rights of Palestinian political prisoners. Click here to email!
3. Learn more about the Karameh Hunger Strike launching April 17 and inform others that over 1600 Palestinian prisoners will launch a hunger strike on Tuesday.
4. Download, use and distribute the handouts and factsheets for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day! These factsheets are made for use in your community:
Download General Palestinian Prisoners’ Day Factsheet (PDF)
Download Palestinian Prisoners’ Day Call to Action and Karameh Strike Handout (PDF)
Palestinian Prisoners’ Day Events
Toronto: Palestinian Prisoners’ Day – Perspectives on the current struggle
Tuesday, April 17 7:00 PM
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St., Toronto, ON
April 17th is International Palestinian Prisoners Day. As of 1 March 2012, there were 4,637 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including 183 children. Just like Hana Shalabi and Khader Adnan, 320 prisoners are held–without charge or trial–under administrative detention. More details…
Speakers: Ameena Sultan, Shaira Vadasaria, Issam Al Yamani
Vancouver: Rally and Speak-Out for Freedom for Palestinian Prisoners
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
CBC Building, 700 Hamilton St (Hamilton and Georgia), Vancouver
Nearly 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners are held in jails in Israel, including 170 children and 6 women. 310 prisoners are held – without charge or trial – under administrative detention. Palestinian prisoners include over 20 lawmakers and national leaders, like Ahmad Sa’adat, Marwan Barghouthi and Aziz Dweik.
On April 17, 2012, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, people around the world will respond to the call to take action for Palestinian political prisoners. In Vancouver, Join us on April 17 to support Palestinian prisoners, demand their freedom, and call for justice. More details…
Chicago: Hungry for Justice – Fast in Solidarity with Palestinian Political Prisoners
Join CMPR for a community dinner and discussion with prisoner rights activist Bekah Wolf
Tuesday, April 17, 7:00pm
CAIR-Chicago Gallery, 28 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60604
**Free and open to the public, but space at the venue is limited. To ensure a seat, please RSVP to email@example.com as soon as possible.**
Since 1974, April 17 has been commemorated annually as Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. Currently there are more than 4500 Palestinians in Israeli prisons and detention centers; nearly 200 of these prisoners are children. Just like Hana Shalabi and Khader Adnan, 320 prisoners are held – without charge or trial – under administrative detention. Here in Chicago, the Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights (CMPR) is calling on people of conscience to fast from sunrise to sunset on April 17 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. According to latest reports from prisoner rights group Addameer, 8 prisoners are currently on hunger strike. More details…
Glasgow: March for the Karameh Hunger Strikers, March for Palestine
Tuesday, April 17 – 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
George Square, Glasgow
On Palestinian prisoners day, Tuesday 17th of April, the Palestinian prisoners movement will launch the Karamah (Dignity) hunger strike. The magnitude of the 1600 Palestinian prisoners embarking on the Karamah hunger strike must be met with a significant international response. This means mass mobilisations to question the impunity of the Israeli state and our own governments involvement. As the resistance of the prisoners escalates, our actions in turn must escalate. This demo is called for by ‘We Are All Hana Shalabi’.
Brussels: Protest for Palestinian Prisoners
Manifestatie in Brussel
dinsdag 17 april 2012, 12u00-14u00
Europese Commissie te Brussel (Schuman-Rotonde)
Solidariteitsavond 17 april 18 tot 22 uur
film (25 min.): “Libres dans la prison de Gaza”
Chris Den Hond en Mireille Court (2012)
Montreal: Sumoud – An Evening of Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners
Thursday, April 19, 6:30pm until 9:30pm
Concordia University Hall Building, Room H-110
1455 de Maisonneuve West Metro Guy-Concordia, Montreal, Quebec
Please join us for a panel discussion and screening to highlight prisoner struggles, affirm our support and stand in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners. Featuring speakers: Issam Al-Yamani, Serin Atiani, and a screening of a video produced by Addameer, featuring an interview with Suha Barghouti, wife of Palestinian writer, scholar and political prisoner Ahmed Qatamesh.