Call for solidarity with the demands of Palestinian prisoners

Call for solidarity with the demands of Palestinian prisoners.

Call for solidarity with the demands of Palestinian prisoners

Eighteen days ago, 1500 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons announced the start of a mass hunger strike to protest against the Israeli occupying power’s violation of their most basic rights guaranteed by international conventions and international humanitarian law. The prisoners’ hunger strike is ongoing, and their demands are as follows:

  1. The right to apply for high school exams and to complete university education.
  2. The right to visits by family members; some detainees have been prohibited from this right for 5 years.
  3. The right to contact their families through phone calls.
  4. The right to meet with their lawyers.
  5. The right to health care and the provision of adequate food for sick detainees.
  6. Stop night raids of detainees’ cells and waking them up during their sleep under the pretext of searching rooms.
  7. The right to access to TV and radio in their detention facilities
  8. The right to read and develop their knowledge through the provision of books to prison libraries.
  9. Stop administrative detentions.
  10. An end to attacks on personal dignity through verbal abuse of detainees and their families.
  11. Stop all forms of abuse, torture and physical assault against detainees
  12. An end to the policy of forced isolation and solitary confinement; some detainees have been in isolation and solitary confinement for more than 4 years.
  13. Keep detainees in detention centers close to their place of residence, so that their families can visit them easily. Some families spend more than six to seven hours travelling back and forth to visit their sons and daughters.

Comrades, sisters and brothers;

The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the occupying power from transferring detainees from the occupied territory to prisons inside its own territory. Article 32 of the Convention prohibits taking any measure of such a character as to cause physical suffering of protected persons in their hands, including torture and physical assault of detainees by prison administrations.

Article 116 of the Fourth Geneva Convention allows detainees to receive visitors, especially near relatives, at regular intervals and as frequently as possible; this was also ensured by rule 27 of the “Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners” adopted by the United Nations in 1955.

Article 91 of Fourth Geneva Convention stipulates that the occupying power has an obligation to provide every place of internment with “an adequate infirmary, under the direction of a qualified doctor, where internees may have the attention they require, as well as an appropriate diet”. This was also ensured by rules 22 to 26 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners on medical services.  

Article 72 of the Fourth Geneva Convention also guaranteed prisoners’ right to meet with their lawyer. The convention also prohibits policies of forced isolation, solitary confinement and imposition of harsh conditions on prisoners.

The Israeli occupying power has systematically failed to comply with its obligations under international agreements and conventions. The Israeli government has declared it refuses to enter any negotiations with Palestinian hunger strikers, and has escalated its repressive measures against them. Furthermore, some Israeli ministers have made extremely preoccupying statements in response to the strike, demanding that Palestinian detainees should be left to starve to death or physically eliminated.

Thus, we ask our comrades, sisters and brothers to declare their solidarity with Palestinian detainees, through sending protest messages that demand the fulfillment of the just and legitimate demands of Palestinian detainees and the respect of their most basic human rights. We also call upon you to organize vigils and protests in front of Israeli embassies in your countries.

 Let us work together for a world governed by peace and justice, without occupation and wars.