Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2020

Palestinian Prisoners’ Day is marked this year on April 17th. Today more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails face the ongoing threat of settler colonialism, apartheid and occupation, accompanied by the new threat to their health and lives posed by the global pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19), accentuated by institutionalized Israeli medical negligence.

Background

It is estimated that over a million Palestinians have been arrested at one point in their lives since the establishment of Israel and the subsequent occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Imprisonment affects nearly every Palestinian family, including Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and even in exile and diaspora. Palestinian prisoners are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, students and teachers, labor organizers, women’s leaders, student activists, community builders, freedom fighters.

Defending Palestinian prisoners and demanding their immediate release is not only a humanitarian necessity at a time when their lives are at great risk due to COVID-19, it is also a political imperative for all concerned with justice in Palestine.

Palestinian prisoners represent the Palestinian resistance and the true leadership of the Palestinian liberation struggle, locked away in an attempt to preserve colonial control. Their liberation is critical to the victory of the Palestinian people and the freedom of Palestine, from the river to the sea.

Suggested Actions

  1. Videos and selfies are a great way to express solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners! Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association in Palestine issued a call for short video clips, and they have been pouring in from around the world. Share your video or selfie online using the hashtag #FreeOurPrisoners. Tag @Addameer to make sure that Addameer sees it, and tag us at @SamidounPP so that we can re-share and boost your solidarity efforts.
  2. Along with many other organizations, we will be announcing a Twitterstorm on 17 April to support Palestinian prisoners. The hashtag will be announced on that day for maximum impact, but your Tweets, Facebook, Instagram and other social media posts throughout the week can emphasize the critical importance of the Palestinian struggle! Tweet with #FreeOurPrisoners and #LiberatePalestinianPrisoners to join people around the world in expressing your solidarity with imprisoned Palestinians.
  3. If you cannot hold an in-person demonstration or action during this week, you can still support the prisoners with an online action or event! Several online meetings are listed below. Host a webinar or online meeting about Palestine and the prisoners’ struggle over Zoom, Facebook live or a platform of your choice. Send your event details – in any language – to Samidoun at samidoun@samidoun.net and we will include them in our list of activities.
  4. Demand the Red Cross act. Call on the International Committee of the Red Cross to uphold its responsibility and urge the immediate release of all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Sign the online petition initiated by War on Want: https://secure.waronwant.org/page/58733/
  5. Call in for action. Governments around the world, specifically imperialist powers and reactionary regimes, are fully complicit in Israeli crimes against humanity, including the mass imprisonment of Palestinians. Even if you have to leave a message, call your government officials and demand they pressure Israel to free Palestinian prisoners. Express your disgust at these governments’ ongoing support for Israeli colonialism:

Call during your country’s regular office hours:

    • Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne: + 61 2 6277 7500
    • Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne: +1-613-995-4895
    • European Union Commissioner Josep Borrell Fontelles: +32(0) 470 18 24 05
    • New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters: +64 4 439 8000
    • United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab: +44 20 7008 1500
    • United States President Donald Trump: 1-202-456-1111
  • Boycott, Divest and Sanction. It’s just as important to boycott Israel when buying online! Join the BDS campaign 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. Learn more about our Investing for Peace campaign and how we are challenging the Churches on how they invest.

Sabeel-Kairos is the operating name of Friends of Sabeel UK (FOSUK) Ltd, Charity number 1116817, Company Number 5595112

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