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There are over 4,500 Palestinian political prisoners. The conditions of their detention are outrageous. They are abused, tortured and have no proper health care. This leads many of them to develop serious illnesses and in some cases to their death.
This is one of the many denunciations about Palestinian political prisoners by Addameer, one of the three organizations that was raided by the Israeli army on Tuesday, 11 December. The Israeli forces also stormed into the headquarters of the Union of Palestinian Women Committees and the Palestinian NGO Network. The reason for this is attributed to the participation of these organizations in the recent World Social Forum Free Palestine.
During the forum, Real World Radio interviewed Sahar Francis, chair of Adamir. Francis exposes several kinds of punishments against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons: solitary confinement for long periods, fines from 50 to 100 US dollars, forbidding family visits. In the case of the Gaza Strip, all the Palestinian prisoners have been forbidden access to their families for 6 years.
Francis, who is a human rights lawyer, said that of these thousands of prisoners only a minority is involved in military activities or in the armed fight. Most of them were captured for political and humanitarian activism. Israel claims that the organizations are linked to groups like Hamas, the Islamic Jihad or Fatah, so they considered them as terrorist organizations. But most of the Palestinian prisoners are people who were fighting against the Israeli wall, against the construction of settlements or who were political activists in their communities. Francis exposes that student unions are considered illegal by Israel, that is why several Palestinian students are imprisoned for one to two years.
The Palestinian political prisoners are tried in Israeli military courts or in civilian courts. According to Francis neither of these systems offer the guarantees of fair trials because they follow military orders “under very discriminatory laws against Palestinians and with very harsh sentences”.
Finally, Sahar Francis expressed her satisfaction with the WSF Free Palestine after learning that many social movements from Latin America, Europe and Africa participated. She said it is a good chance to create strategies around the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS), which is considered as a very strong tool of peaceful resistance that can be done together with the Palestinian people and should not be restricted to the Arab countries.
She also considered the forum as an important opportunity to encourage social movements to lead other actions in their own countries, such as bringing the Israeli war criminals to court or exposing the corporations that are linked to the industry of the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories.
Photo: Coletivo Catarse
El pasado martes 26 de agosto Israel y Palestina acordaron un cese al fuego permanente, luego de una embestida del Ejército israelí contra la población de la Franja de Gaza que duró aproximadamente cincuenta días. La ofensiva asesinó más de 2130 gazatíes, la mayoría de ellos civiles, y destruyó por completo cerca de 17.000 hogares, así como escuelas, hospitales y refugios. Además, el sistema de distribución de agua corriente sufrió graves daños, y la única central eléctrica de la Franja fue bombardeada a propósito, dejando la población casi sin energía eléctrica. Este tenebroso panorama se suma al bloqueo permanente del cual es víctima la población de la Franja de Gaza, sobre el cual no hay expectativas de que Israel lo levante.
Nuestra edición de este viernes tiene dos bloques centrales: uno que se enfoca en Guatemala, con un gran triunfo en la lucha contra la Ley Monsanto y el aniversario de las consultas comunitarias sobre megaproyectos, y otro que nos acerca ecos del VI Encuentro del MAPDER en México.
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