Palestinian Prisoners Day, April 17th, was marked by 1500 Palestinian prisoners beginning an open hunger strike in a movement for what is called the struggle of freedom and dignity within Israeli prisons.
The hunger strike was launched by 50 leading Palestinian prisoners, including Marwan Barghouti, Ahmad Sa’adat, and Abbas Sayyed, due to Israeli officials’ denial of family visits, the right to healthcare, the right to education in prison, and an end to solitary confinement, administrative detention—that is, imprisonment without charge or trial.
As the hunger strike for freedom and dignity enters its 30th day, the Palestinian prisoners are being threatened with repression, murder and force-feeding by Israeli prison officials in an attempt to break their strike. One person participating in the hunger strike has died already. One may inquire, why hunger strike? A statement by Palestinian prisoner leader Marwan Barghouti explains it best:
“I have been both a witness to and a victim of the Israeli illegal system of mass arbitrary arrest and ill treatment of Palestinian prisoners. After exhausting all other options, I decided there was no choice but to resist these abuses by going on a hunger strike,” said Marwan. Marwan further stated, “hunger striking is the most peaceful form of resistance available. It inflicts pain solely on those who participate and on their loved ones in the hopes that their empty stomachs and their sacrifice will help their message resonate beyond the confines of their dark cells.”
The Israeli apartheid regime are subjecting Palestinian prisoners and detainees—including women and children—to torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, and medical negligence, some having been killed while in detention.
The freedom and dignity strikers seek to end those abuses through their hunger strike. The freedom and dignity strikers are calling for solidarity demonstrations and occupations throughout the world, for the Palestinian authority to immediately end security coordination with Israeli occupation for doctors not to participate in the crime of force-feeding prisoners and to pursue and prosecute Israeli apartheid regime officials for war crimes against the Palestinian people. Glory to the martyr, and the revolution continues.
From the belly of the beast at Prison Radio, I am Shakaboona. Thank you for listening.