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Alert 28th Apr 2017 - Vigil in Solidarity With Palestinian Prisoners Hunger Strike
23 April 2017
DATE: Friday 28th April 2017, 3:30pm - 5:30pm
LOCATION: Charing Cross Road next to St Martin-in-the-Fields, across from the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square (nearest tube: Charing Cross)
Location map for vigil
On Friday 28th April 2017, Inminds human right group will hold a vigil in central London in solidarity with the largest hunger strike of Palestinian political prisoners in 5 years. Over 1500 Palestinian prisoners from all Palestinian factions united to go on hunger strike six days ago on 17th April 2017. Since then the strike has gained momentum with hundreds more joining everyday.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "The occupation has already expressed fear that the security conditions in prisons, and with it their entire prison complex, will collapse due to the hunger strike. To quash the hunger strike they have brutally attacked prisoners in their cells, destroying their belongings and separated the leaders of the hunger strike by forcefully transferring them to other prisons and into solidarity confinement. Prison visits have been banned. They are setting up military field hospitals, out of sight, in the Negev desert to force feed hunger strikers on mass, in contravention of international humanitarian law. It is vital at this critical time that we show our support and solidarity for this hunger strike for freedom and dignity."
The hunger strikers are demanding basic human rights which Israel as a signatory to the Geneva Conventions should already be providing.
1) An end to the denial and cutbacks on family visits. A return to a second monthly visit that was suspended by the Red Cross, and extending the visit duration from 45 mins to 90 mins. Allowing children to visit their mothers in prisoner without barriers so they can hug and kiss them. Allow detainees to take a photo with their families once every three months. Many prisoners have been denied any family visits under the pretext of security, for example wheel-chair bound sick prisoner Mansour Moqtada has been denied family visits from his son for 3 years and hasn't been able to see his elderly mother, who is over 70 years old, for over two years. Moqtada has colostomy and a catheter and is in frequent pain; he is one of the most seriously ill prisoners in Israeli jails and is permanently held at the Ramleh prison clinic - no security threat to anyone. The right of prisoners to receive family visits is enshrined in the Fourth Geneva Convention.
2) Install public telephones in all prisons for Palestinian prisoners to communicate with their families. Many prisoners are totally cut off from their families by the sever restrictions Israel imposes on family visits. One of the hunger strikers Karim Yunis explained "I have been in jail for 35 years, and I don't know my relatives at all because they are denied visits for so-called security reasons."
3) Proper health treatment for sick prisoners . Ramla prison hospital where they are currently taken is unfit for medical care. It has been described by patients as ďa slaughterhouse, not a hospital, with jailers wearing doctorsí uniforms.Ē
4) That prisoners not be charged for their medical care. The Third Geneva Convention mandates Israel to provide medical treatment and care to prisoners as required. Just last week a Palestinian human rights activist, imprisoned for planting olive trees on Palestinian land, was denied his diabetes medicine and then told if he paid then he could receive it.. in the end they still withheld it.
5) Humanitarian treatment of prisoners during transportation and transfer, returning the prisoners promptly to prison from clinic and courts. At present prisoner are held shackled in an iron box on the transportation vehicle, the journey of a few miles from the prison to the court can take a full day with no access to a toilet and sometimes no food. One woman prisoner, Dunia Waked, explained that "the journey can begin at 1 a.m. and end at 10 p.m. - 21 hours and during this harsh journey you are subject to ongoing harassment." Israeli criminal prisoners are let loose on Palestinian political prisoners during the transport.
6) An end to administrative detention and solitary confinement. Today Over 500 Palestinians are held without charge or trial indefinitely under administrative detention orders. The United Nations has denounced Israel's practice of administrative detention where by Palestinians are caged indefinitely, without charge, on the whim of the Israeli military.
7) Restore kitchens in all prisons and place them under the supervision of Palestinian detainees to prepare their own meals. The kitchens in most prisons in Israel where Palestinian political prisoners are caged are run by Israeli criminal prisoners. According to testimony from Nafha prison, Israeli criminal prisoners routinely urinate and spit in food prepared for Palestinian prisoners. Witnesses have also seen them stirring the soup for Palestinian prisoners with a broom that they previously used to clean the floor.
8) Allow prisoners to receive cloths, food and reading material from their families during visits. Israel has turned prisons in to money making enterprises with prisoners essentially forced to pay for their own imprisonment. Israel deliberately fails to provide Palestinian prisoners the basic essentials like edible food, cloths (underwear, shoes..) and hygiene products (soap, toothbrush..), and doesn't allow families to bring these during visits, forcing prisoners to buy them at the extortionately priced prison shop.
The vigil will also highlight the complicity of companies like HP in the suffering of Palestinian prisoners and ask the British public to boycott HP products.
If you support this activity please share this alert widely, thank you.
Inminds Palestinian Prisoners Campaign
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Page URL: http://inminds.co.uk/article.php?id=10752