1500 Palestinian prisoners launch largest collective hunger strike in years: Take action in support!

 

Take Action | Demands of the Strike

Over 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners have announced they will launch a collective hunger strike today, Monday, 17 April, on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2017. The strike, which will come under the slogan “Freedom and Dignity,” highlights a number of key demands of the Palestinian prisoners, including family visits, appropriate medical care, ending abusive conditions and stopping the use of solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. As the strike begins, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges supporters of justice around the world to take action to support the Palestinian prisoners whose bodies and lives are on the line for freedom and dignity.

Palestinian prisoners from across political lines announced they would participate in and support the strike, especially in Hadarim, Gilboa, and Nafha prisons. Prisoners in Beersheva, Ashkelon and Ramon prisons will also launch their participation in the strike today, with more to come in the future, Ma’an News reported. The strike’s demands were announced by Fateh prisoners with imprisoned Fateh Central Committee member and prominent political leader Marwan Barghouthi serving as the spokesperson for the strike. A statement by Barghouthi highlighting the strike’s causes was published in the New York Times on 16 April.

“Israel’s prisons have become the cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination. This new hunger strike will demonstrate once more that the prisoners’ movement is the compass that guides our struggle, the struggle for Freedom and Dignity, the name we have chosen for this new step in our long walk to freedom,” wrote Barghouthi.

Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, known for his denunciation of hunger strikers as “terrorists,” has threatened to move all Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike to the Negev desert prison and establish a “field hospital” to deny the prisoners access to medical care in civilian hospitals – and potentially threaten them with force feeding. Indeed, the Israeli Prison Service announced “punitive measures” against 700 Palestinian prisoners who began the open hunger strike on the evening of 16 April, declaring that “the strike and other protest activities are illegal and will be dealt with firmly.”

As the strike begins, Israeli jails hold approximately 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners. This number includes nearly 60 women and 300 children. Nearly 600 are imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention, while over 1,000 are sick and require medical treatment.

This is the largest collective hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners since 2012 and before that, 2004, when mass hunger strikes united thousands of Palestinian prisoners for key demands, many of which were achieved in those strikes yet have come under repeated and sustained attack. There is a lengthy history of collective hunger strikes in Israeli jails organized by the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, stretching back decades.

While the strike was announced by Fateh prisoners with Barghouthi as their spokesperson, prisoners from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hamas, the People’s Party and others have declared participation in the strike, especially in prisons like Hadarim, Gilboa and Nafha, where there is nearly unanimous participation in the strike among political prisoners. Perhaps the last mass strike which saw such broad participation was the 2014 administrative detainees’ hunger strike which involved all of those Palestinians held without charge or trial – at the time, a number below 200.

In Barghouthi’s piece, he urged international solidarity, noting the support of South African former prisoners of the anti-apartheid struggle for Palestinian prisoners. “Israel is not the first occupying or colonial power to resort to such expedients. Every national liberation movement in history can recall similar practices. This is why so many people who have fought against oppression, colonialism and apartheid stand with us.” Fateh prisoners also emphasized the importance of support for the strike, noting that it was “urgent” that their cause becomes an Arab and an international one, instead of only being supported on the local and national level.

The Prison Branch of the PFLP also highlighted the importance of Palestinian support and international solidarity: “we call on all the Palestinian people and their supporters and friends around the world to stand side by side with the prisoners in their continuing battles inside the prisons, escalating the mass movement to support the battle of wills, challenge and confrontation, and to once again reaffirm the centrality of the cause of the prisoners.”

As 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners launch their hunger strike, we urge all supporters of Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian people to urgently take action and join in the campaign of solidarity to achieve their demands.
Take action:

1) Organize or join an event as part of the Week of Action for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day in support of the hunger strikers. Protest outside your local Israeli embassy, consulate or mission, or at a public square or government building. You can drop a banner or put up a table to support the prisoners and their strike. See the list of current international events here, and add your own: http://samidoun.net/2017/04/schedule-of-events-actions-around-the-world-for-palestinian-prisoners-day-2017-week-of-action/

2) Join the social media campaign to support Palestinian prisoners. Take a picture of yourself or send a graphic with the hashtags below. Post on your own Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and share with the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/225669854578279/ Slogans via Addameer:
Palestinian Human Rights Defenders are #NotATarget #PalestinianPrisonersDay
Palestinian children are #NotATarget #PalestinianPrisonersDay
Stop Administrative Detention #StopAD
Freedom for Palestinian Political Prisoners #April17 #PrisonersDay
I stand in solidarity with Palestinian Political Prisoners #PrisonersDay

3) Write letters and make phone calls to protest the violation of the rights of Palestinian political prisoners and urge your government officials to pressure Israel to accept the demands of the Palestinian political prisoners.

4) Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Join the BDS Movement to highlight the complicity of corporations like Hewlett-Packard and the continuing involvement of G4S in Israeli policing and prisons. Build a campaign to boycott Israeli goods, impose a military embargo on Israel, or organize around the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

Materials to support your events and organizing are available for download here: http://samidoun.net/2017/03/call-to-organize-palestinian-prisoners-week-of-action-14-to-24-april-2017/ Please contact samidoun@samidoun.net or reach out to us on Facebook for questions or to share your actions.
Demands of the Strikers

The demands of the strike:

1) Installation of a public telephone in each prison and section for Palestinian prisoners to communicate with their loved ones.

2) Family Visits

A) Resume the second monthly visit, which was cut by the International Committee of the Red Cross
B) Regular visits every two weeks without cancellation or interference
C) No prevention of visits by relatives of the “first and second class”
D) Increase the duration of visits from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours
E) Allow photography with parents every three months
F) Facilities for the comfort of prisoners’ parents at the prison entrance
G) Children and grandchildren under the age of 16 allowed visitation at each visit

3) Medical Care

A) Close the so-called “Ramle prison hospital,” as it is unfit for necessary treatment
B) End of the policy of medical neglect against prisoners
C) Regular, scheduled periodic medical examinations
D) Surgical procedures received quickly and without delay
E) Introduction of specialist doctors from outside the prison system
F) Release of sick prisoners, especially those with disabilities and terminal illnesses
G) No transfer of the cost of treatment to prisoners and their families

4) Respond to the needs and demands of the Palestinian women prisoners for private transportation and direct visits with their family members without barriers

5) “Bosta” and Transportation

A) Secure the humane treatment of prisoners during transportation and movement
B) Prisoners must be returned to prisons, clinics and courts and not kept at crossing points for lengthy periods.
C) Rehabilitation of these crossing points to make them fit for human use, including providing meals

6) Access to satellite channels tailored to the needs of prisoners

7) Installation of a cooling system in prisons, especially Megiddo and Gilboa

8) Reform kitchens for all prisons and put them entirely under the supervision of Palestinian prisoners

9) Introduction of books, newspapers, clothing, food and other gifts for prisoners from their families during visits

10) Ending the policy of solitary confinement

11) Ending the policy of administrative detention

12) Re-introducing access to education via the Open Hebrew University

13) Allow the prisoners to provide high school (tawjihi) examinations under officially agreed-upon guidelines

By icsppi Posted in News

The list of 4483 political prisoners who were executed during the massacre of 1988 by the Islamic regime in IRAN

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The list of 4483 political prisoners3

The list of 4483 political prisoners4

The list of 4483 political prisoners5

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The list of 4483 political prisoners who were executed during7

The list of 4483 political prisoners who were executed during8-1

Zainab Jalalian political prisoner in Iran.

 

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Zainab Jalalian was arrested in July of 2007 in the Kurdish province of Kermanshah for allegedly being a member of a banned Kurdish opposition group of insurgents. She was initially taken to the detention center of Ministry of Intelligence, where she was tortured for eight months. As a result, Zainab Jalalian began to suffer from internal and intestinal bleeding. Two years after her arrest, in a trial that lasted only minutes, with no legal representation, she was accused of “waging war against God” and, at age 27, was sentenced to death. In 2010 she was transferred to the feared Ward 209 of Evin prison in Tehran, a section well known for torturing prisoners until they confess. There she was told that her death sentence would be lifted if she agreed to a televised confession admitting her “armed” involvement against the regime. She endured by maintaining her innocence and refused their demand. She was then transferred back to Kermanshah facilities to await execution.

In a letter shortly after she was sentenced to death in 2009, Zainab Jalalian wrote the following:

“…I am currently ill because of torture and I don’t have any lawyer to defend me. I want to tell you that my trial took only few minutes. The court told me: ‘You are an enemy of God. You must be hanged very soon.’ That was the sum of my entire court process. I asked the judge to give me permission to just say good-bye to my mother before my execution. He told me to ‘shut up’ and rejected my request.” — November 2009,

According to report from group in Iran working with human rights issue,Zainab Jalalian was passed around like a soccer ball between male guards while she was tied up, blindfolded and beaten. In the first three months of her detention, she suffered such serious head injuries that her interrogators, in a rare and unusual act, were forced to transfer her to a hospital outside prison. The report also reveals that she was also flogged on the soles of her feet until she passed out. When she finally gained consciousness; she was forced to walk on her feet and was then flogged again. She was also threatened with rape by her interrogator; she protested, he then struck her on the head with an iron rod, which fractured her skull, causing her to bleed profusely. It is believed it was this blow, along with many more repeated blows to her head, affected her vision; she was consistently denied medical care for her injuries, despite many hunger strikes. She became blind in both eyes.

Between 2009 and 2010, Zainab Jalalian was the subject of an international campaign against her execution. As a direct result, her death sentence was commuted to life in prison. Zainab Jalalian is presently in agonizing pain due to bleeding and infection of her intestines. The authorities are deliberately refraining from transferring her to a city hospital for proper treatment. She has been given no provisions for her blindness while serving time. Both her ailments are direct result of torture while in custody.

Vahed Syndicate’s Davoud Razavi sentenced to five years in prison

For immediate release:

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Vahed Syndicate’s Davoud Razavi sentenced to five years in prison

Vahed Syndicate’s Vice-President, Ebrahim Madadi, will go on trial on February 22, 2016

February 17, 2016 – Davoud Razavi, a member of the board of directors of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Vahed Syndicate), today 17 February 2016, was sentenced to five years in prison by the Revolutionary Court Branch 26 in Tehran. Razavi was tried at the above Branch on January 13, 2016. His charges included “gathering and colluding with intent to act against national security” and “Disrupting public order and peace by participating in illegal gatherings”.

In addition, Mr. Ebrahim Madadi, Vice-President of the board of director of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, will be put on trial with exactly the same charges on February 22, 2016.

Both of these labour activists and leading members of Vahed Syndicate have been persecuted and arrested numerous times since the re-establishment of Vahed Syndicate in 2005. Other members of Vahed Syndicate have been facing persecution, threats and new charges in recent months as well.

Vahed Syndicate condemns the sentence of 5 years in prison for Mr. Davoud Razavi, as well as threats, pressures and sentences against trade unionists and activists of independent labour organizations and calls for an end to theatmosphere of security against workers and labour activists. We demand the release of all imprisoned workers and labour activists.

More details to follow soon on the next steps including legal options and appeals.

Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company

Bahman 28, 1394 (February 17, 2016)

Massacres of Political Prisoners in the 1980s by the capitalist – Islamic regime of Iran

After the change of regime in Iran in February 1979, the Islamic regime took over power. But in reality, it was just a change from monarchy dictatorship to Islamic dictatorship. Oppression, imprisonment, torture and execution continued.

The Iranian people’s uprising against the Shah-regime was put down and their demands were attacked. Likewise, from the first day of the Islamic regime in power, all demands of the people, for instance, for freedom, democracy, equality etc. were suppressed.

The Kurdish people  were attacked and bombarded. Other minorities like Turkmen, Baluche, Arabs, Lor, etc. were attacked as well and many of them were killed by the Islamic forces.  During the uprising, Iranian workers had formed various workers’ councils, but these were closed down by the regime. Workers were as heavily oppressed as during the Shah regime. Iranian women fighting for equality and freedom, were attacked as one of the first groups in society. In history, Iranian students and universities had always played an important role in society against dictatorship, but the Islamic regime closed universities as well as students’ organisations ” in the name of the Islamic cultural revolution”. Many students were killed. Universities were closed from 1980 until 1983.

Freedom of speech – one of the slogans of the uprising against the shah regime – has been continuously oppressed by the Islamic regime. All newspapers were closed down and forbidden, and the right to organize, demonstrate, strike etc. was forbidden.
Political organizations and parties that were against the shah regime have been persecuted and forbidden from the first day of the Islamic regime, and many of the members and supporters were sent to jail, tortured and executed.

With the start of the war between the two reactionary regimes of Iraq and Iran in 1980, the Islamic regime found a new excuse to oppress all movements: accusing of collaboration with the enemies – for instance at demonstrations, strikes etc.

In 1981, when the Islamic regime had been two years in power, beside the military and intelligence services (Savak) of the Shah, various Islamic military (Pasdaran) and intelligence services (Savama) were organised. From this period the regime intensified mass imprisonment, torture, executions, oppression etc.

At the beginning of 1981, one of the biggest massacres in Iranian history took place. Thousands of political prisoners were executed or tortured by the Islamic regime. Every day and every night, a lot of executions were carried out.

The judicial system was headed by mullahs (Islamic priests). Political prisoners were called in for a so called trial in which just one mullah asked three or four questions : name, party/ organization, Will you condemn your party/ organization? or Will you collaborate and participate in an interview on television and say you regret, and you believe in islam etc.).

Thousands of them were sentenced to execution and others to long imprisonment. In prison, the interrogation and torture continued all the time because the Islamic laws say prisoners must apologise and accept islam. Female political prisoners have obtained equality by Islamic laws – as for torture and execution. Many female political prisoners were raped in prison, and many of them raped just before execution, because – according to Islamic rules – if you are a virgin and you die, you are going to paradise.

From 1981 until 1988, tens of thousands of political prisoners were executed or killed under torture in prison by the Islamic regime. In 1988, after the end of the war between Iran and Iraq, and after the Islamic regime’s accept of UN resolution 598, Khomeini, leader of the Islamic regime, ordered to “clean up” the prisons in Iran. In a letter he sent to the responsible for the Islamic judicial system, he ordered the execution of the political prisoners.

In August and September 1988, according to the order of Khomeini, a “death commission” consisting of five members was established. They went to different prisons, for instance the Evin prison in Tehran and Gohardasht prison and called the political prisoners to so called courts. The prisoners were interrogated  for two-three minutes: Do you believe in islam? Do you believe in your organization or party? Will you cooperate and make an interview on television? If the answer did not satisfy the death commission, the political prisoners were sent directly to be hanged or executed. The Marxist women according to Islamic laws – in this so called court – had to accept to pray, or if they did not accept to pray, they were lashed to death or until they accepted to do so. But many of the female political prisoners did not accept to pray and died.

After the massacres of the political prisoners in 1988, the Islamic regime buried all the bodies of the executed prisoners in mass graves in different places, for example in Tehran at the cemetery called Khavaran. The Islamic regime until now has not admitted these crimes, but the names of almost 5000 executed prisoners and the names of their organizations or parties are known.

Families and relatives of the political prisoners who were executed in 1988 did not get the bodies and they were not told where the bodies were buried. Some of them just got some clothes and from 1988 until to-day they are not allowed to commemorate their relatives.
Until now the world does not know about the massacres of the political prisoners in Iran in 1980’s – one of the biggest massacres in world history. We – as part of the  revolutionary – communist  resistance movements against the Islamic regime in Iran – call for international condemnation of the massacres and the Islamic regime and for solidarity with the resistance in Iran.
Overthrow the capitalist – Islamic regime in Iran – Long live socialism

International Committee for Support of Political Prisoners in Iran