Showing posts with label hunger strike. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hunger strike. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Today: Call in Day for Samer Issawi

Samer Issawi continues on his hunger strike--which is in its 240th day--until he wins an absolute agreement that guarantees his release. 

International pressure has led the Israelis to release hunger striker Ayman Sharwarna, even though he will be deported to Gaza, an action that also violates Ayman's rights, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights: "Forcible deportation is a form of collective punishment prohibited under the fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits 'individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not.'" 

Also, the Israelis continue to harass the Issawi family. An Israeli court has sentenced Medhat Issawi, Samer's brother, to 20 months for organizing solidarity events with prisoners in Jerusalem.

Now more than ever, we need to keep the pressure on the U.S. government to demand the unconditional release of Samer Issawi. President Obama starts his trip to Palestine on Wednesday. Let him and the U.S. State Department know that we demand he tell the Israelis to release Samer Issawi and all Palestinian political prisoners.

We again ask all activists, especially those in the U.S., to call President Obama and the State Department, Wednesday, March 20th, from 8 AM to 4 PM CDT, to take action.

“My name is _____ from __________ and I demand that the U.S. administration demand that the Israelis release hunger striker Samer Issawi and all the Palestinian administrative detainees and political prisoners held by Israel."
  • Call President Obama at 1-202-456-1111
  • Call US Secretary of State John Kerry at 1-202-647-4000 (pick option 4 for the operator and ask to leave a message for Kerry)
  • Call the Office of Near East Affairs at 1-202-647-7209 (you will get transferred to Marguerite Pickett to leave a message)
During President Obama's two-day trip to Palestine, it will be even more important to continue the worldwide campaign on Twitter at 1:00pm CDT on Weds. and Thurs. to demand the release of Samer Issawi.

Check @samerissawi1 for the hashtag to use. 

For updates on the worldwide campaign, follow "
The Free Samer Issawi Campaign" page on Facebook. 

Issawi had been detained by Israeli authorities without any charge whatsoever. He had been released from prison in October 2011 as a part of the Shalit prisoner swap, but was detained again without charge on July 7, 2012, and has been refusing food since August 2012 to protest his detention. 

Sponsored by: Palestine Solidarity Group (PSG)- Chicago; Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights (CMPR); U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)- National; USPCN - Chicago; Committee Against Political Repression (CAPR); Coalition to Protect People’s Rights (CPPR); Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR); Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)- Chicago; American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)- Chicago; American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)- Chicago

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mahmoud Sarsak to be Freed After Months of Hunger Strike and Global Solidarity

According to his attorney, Palestinian soccer star Mahmoud Sarsak will be released from Israeli detention on July 10th after a three month hunger strike. Mahmoud, 25, has been held by Israel without charge or trial since his abduction by Israeli forces in 2009. He began his hunger strike on March 19th in protest of his imprisonment, refusing any nourishment until last week when, near death, he accepted milk while Israeli authorities reconsidered his demands.

Despite a dearth of mainstream media attention, Sarsak's cause had begun to gain support around the globe. Frederic Kenoute, Eric Cantona, and two dozen other European sports figures expressed support for Sarsak. FIFA President Sepp Blatter and FIFpro, the international association of football players, also expressed solidarity. Meanwhile, soccer fans at the Scotland-Israel Euro 2013 women’s qualifier chanted "Free Mahmoud Sarsak" and "Free Palestine" while French activists protested at a supermarket selling Israeli goods in Bordeaux.  Recently, according to Haaretz, an Israeli reservist imprisoned for refusing to partake in the occupation of Palestine began his own hunger strike "in solidarity [with the Palestinians], and in order to raise awareness on the issue of administrative detention."

Scottish soccer fans stand in solidarity with Mahmoud Sarsak

Despite the news of Sarsak's release, Ali Abuminah of the Electronic Intifada urges caution in the face of this victory.  Israel has been slow to implement the terms which ended a similar hunger strike among Palestinian prisoners in May.  Further, there is no word on Akram Rikhawi, now 68 days into his own hunger strike in Israeli detention. 

Israel to free footballer Mahmoud Sarsak after epic 3-month hunger strike, lawyer says
Read more here

Monday, June 11, 2012

Palestinian Soccer Star Mahmoud Sarsak at Risk of Death, 85 Days Into Hunger Strike

According to a report released yesterday by Samidoun, The Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Mahmoud Sarsak is at grave risk of death on his 85th day of a hunger strike against his three year detention by Israel. The 25 year old Palestinian soccer star was abducted by Israeli forces in 2009 while traveling from his home in Gaza to the West Bank in order to train with the Palestinian national soccer team.  Since, he has been held without charge or trial under Israel's "unlawful combatants law."

Sarsak began his hunger strike on March 19th, 2012 after the strikes of  Khader Adnan and Hana’ Shalabi, who were similarly held by Israel without charge or trial.  84 days in, according to Physicians for Human Rights and Addameer, "He has lost 33 percent of his body weight, from an original weight of 76 kilos down to his present weight of 51 kilos. He also suffers from frequent incidents of fainting and loss of consciousness, in addition to lapses in memory. The doctor further reported that Mahmoud is in danger of pulse disruptions (arrhythmias) that are endangering his life." Despite his dire state, Israel refuses to transfer him to a civilian hospital for treatment.  

Palestinian human rights organizations have called for international action and solidarity with Sarsak and his fellow hunger strikers, including Akram Al-Rikhawi (57 days), and Samer al-Barq (22 days).  In a letter from Sarsak and Al-Riljhawi to the public, the strikers asserted "we will remain on our strike until all our demands are met and we will not submit to the demands of the Prison Service regardless of what we suffer...," but appealed for international support, stating "there is still enough time and the support that comes late is better than that which does not come at all. It is better that you receive us alive and victorious rather than as lifeless bodies in black bags."  

Sarsak's family has also released a video calling for his freedom.

Please take this opportunity to stand up for justice for Mahmoud Sarsak and all Palestinian political prisoners!

Take Action!

1. Sign a letter demanding the Israeli state transfer Mahmoud Sarsak, Akram Rikhawi and Samer al-Barq immediately to hospitals and release them. Tell the Israeli Prison Services that the world is watching! Click here to sign.

2. Call the office of Elizabeth Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs at the US State Department (202-647-7209) and demand the US intervene on Mahmoud Sarsak's behalf by asking Israel to release him immediately.

3. Tweet this to the State Department and Barack Obama letting them know that it is time they stand up for Palestinian human rights.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Palestinian National Soccer Player on 81st Day of Hunger Strike

While Thaer Halahleh was released earlier this week after his 77-day hunger strike succeeded in pushing Israel to make a deal with more than 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners who were also on hunger strike, both Mahmoud Sarsak and Akram Rikhawi refused to end their strikes and face imminent threats to their lives.

The Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organizations (PCHRO) and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) released a statement yesterday urging immediate action for both Mahmoud, who is on his 81st day of hunger strike, and Akram, who is on his 57th day.

The PCHRO and PHR-Israel:

  • demand that all hunger strikers in advanced stages are moved immediately to civilian hospitals where they can receive the standard of care necessary;
  • call for immediate intervention for the Israeli Prison Service to provide all hunger strikers with unrestricted access to independent doctors;
  • demand that all hunger strikers are allowed family visits;
  • urge the Member States of the United Nations to urgently put pressure on Israel to end its policy of arbitrary detention and to abide by the standard rules for the treatment of prisoners adopted in 1955, which set out what is generally accepted as being decent principle and practice in the treatment of prisoners.
Amnesty International has also released a new report "Starved of Justice: Palestinians Detained without Trial by Israel" The report calls on Israel to stop using these measures to suppress the legitimate and peaceful activities of Palestinians and urges the immediate and unconditional release prisoners of conscience held just for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Of course none of this could happen if the United States wasn't militarily and diplomatically supporting Israel as it trampled on Palestinian human rights. So help us challenge U.S. policy by
making a donation, signing up to be an organizer or joining us at our 11th Annual National Organizers' Conference