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Free all Palestinian MPs and Ministers
7 November 2012
On Sunday 28th October 2012 Palestinian rights activists protested outside the British Parliament in solidarity with imprisoned Palestinian lawmakers. Israel targets Palestinian democracy by arbitrarily abducting and locking up elected Palestinian MPs and Ministers for indefinite periods of time with no charge and no trial.
The protest was part of an ongoing series of protests held in support of Palestinian prisoners organised by Innovative Minds (inminds.com) and the Islamic Human Rights Commission (ihrc.org) coming together as the Palestinian Prisoners Campaign which culminated out of this years Al Quds Day.
Protesting outside Parliament in solidarity with Palestinian MPs and Ministers imprisoned in Israel dungeons
Free All Palestinian Political Prisoners. The London Eye and statue of Boudica who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire in AD 60.
Most effective leafleters!
Targeting Palestinian lawmakers
Israel has always targeted Palestinian democracy understanding that the Palestinian people, unlike their installed stooges, will never capitulate to the occupation of their land and demand their right of return. So when Hamas won the elections in 2006 with 70 MPs in the 132 seat parliament, Israel reacted with mass arrests and imprisonment of Palestinian MPs. As recently as 2009 nearly a third of the Palestinian Parliament was languishing in Israeli prisons and today there are still 13 imprisoned Palestinian MPs and Israel is busy abducting more.
At dawn on 15th July 2012 Israeli soldiers smashed in to the home of Palestinian MP Ahmad Abdul-Aziz Mubarak in Ramallah and kidnapped him. They ransacked his family home, shackling and blindfolding him before taking him to an unknown destination. He is being held in an Israeli dungeon indefinitely, without any charge or trail. This is not the first time Ahmad Mubarak has been kidnapped by Israeli soldiers, the last time was in 2006 when they kept him caged for 4 years.
One group leafleted on the other side of the street at the busy junction
where the Embankment meets Westminster Bridge. (Ben Ben in the background)
Placard reads 'Free Palestinian MP Ahmad Mubarak'
Torture of prisoners was perfectly legal in Israel right up to 1999, and even with the change in law, with all the exception to the rule, nothing in reality has changed with 700 cases of torture being submitted and promptly ignored by the state prosecutor.
Palestinian MP Dr. Mahmoud Al-Ramahi
abducted by Israeli soldiers
on the eve of the protest
Human rights groups have documented routine torture including one man being violently beaten for 80 hours whilst being told his mother was dying. Even outside of interrogation the prisoners aren't safe, father of four, MP Mohammad Al-Natsheh was beaten up by prison guards on his way to the court.
The eve of the protest we received news from our friends at the Ahrar Center in occupied Palestine that Palestinian MP for Ramallah, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Ramahi had just been abducted by Israeli soldiers after they stopped his car at the Hawara roadblock south of Nablus whilst he was was returning with his family to Ramallah from a visit to his sister in Nablus. Dr. Mahmoud Al-Ramahi is the secretary general of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and has already served 70 months in Israeli jails and held under house arrest for some seven years. He was just released from his last detention seven weeks ago on 9th September 2012 after ten months being held without charge, and without trial under administrative detention.
As the sombre news sank in, we began to design last minute placards to raise in solidarity with Israels latest targeted Palestinian MP Dr.Mahmoud Al-Ramahi. Alhamullah, a few hours later we learnt that Dr. Mahmoud Al-Ramahi had now been release but that the soldiers had decided to keep his car! For us this was just a glimpse of the nature of the occupation where your freedom can arbitrarily be taken away for no reason other than being Palestinian.
We urge you to use your freedom in the name of those who have had it taken away, please write to your MP and demand that he or she as an MP respect Palestinian democracy and petition Israel to immediately releases all Palestinian MPs and Ministers.
We would like to thank the Ahrar Center for the Study of prisoners and human rights in Palestine (www.ahrar.ps), without their assistance in research, this protest could not have been possible. Their director Fuad Al-Khuffash has just been abducted by Israeli soldiers whilst on his way to attend an international conference in support of Palestinian prisoners. Latest news (9th November 2012): Fuad Al-Khuffash has now been released after 5 hours but has been banned from attending the conference in Tunis.
Palestinian MPs Dr.Omar Abdul Raziq and Abdul-Jaber Foqaha have now, alhamdullah, been released.
Free All Palestinian MPs & Ministers
Free Palestinian Hunger Strikers
Free Palestinian MP Ahmad Sa'adat
A good spot for a discussion of the issues
Free Palestinian MPs Gamal Abdul Hamid Tirawi, Mohammed Totah, and Marwan Al-Bargouti
Free Palestinian Minister Khalid Abu Arafah
Solidarity with Palestinian Hunger Strikers
As with all our protests we did not forget the hunger strikers. We will also be protesting in solidarity with Palestinian hunger strikers. On 28th October Ayman Sharawna was his 120th day without food whilst Samer Al-Issawi was on his 89 days of hunger strike. We had placards in solidarity with both hunger strikers.
On October 24th 2012 Ayman Sharawna stopped drinking water. A lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) managed to visit Ayman Sharawna on 23 October at the Ramla Prison Clinic; Ayman told him that he refuses to be exiled in exchange for his release, and will continue his strike "until freedom or death".
He added that the Prison Administration keeps moving him from one room to another, and completely isolated him from the rest of the detainees, in an attempt to prevent him from getting the needed rest, and to deprive him from communicating with other detainees.
"Officers of the Prison Administration held several meetings with me, and proposed deporting me or placing me under Administrative Detention without trial”, Sharawna stated, “I will never accept to be deported or imprisoned without charges, I will continue my strike".
Free Ayman Sharawna - On Hunger Strike 120 Days
Sharawna's health is seriously deteriorating, he repeatedly loses consciousness, and faces repeated sharp migraines, headaches, and is gradually losing his memory.
Samer Al-Issawi, like Ayman al-Sharawna was released as part of the Shalit swap deal Israel made, but once Israeli soldier Shalit was released Israel reneged on the deal and re-arrested both men. Samer Al-Issawi, like Ayman al-Sharawna, has been imprisoned under Israel's infamous 'administrative detention' which means they have not been charged with anything and there is no trial and yet they have been locked up indefinitely on a rolling 6 month prison sentence. Lawyers who visited Samer Al-Issawi on 8th October said his health is rapidly deteriorating, he suffers from dizziness, permanent headache and several chronic diseases. The Israeli prison service is refusing to transfer him to the prisons medical centre for treatment.
At the foot of Big Ben
Human Rights Defender Ayman Nasser abducted to torture den
Protesters also demanded the immediate release of Ayman Nasser, a human rights defender working for Addameer the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. Father of four, Ayman Nasser was abducted from his home on 15th October when Israeli soldiers raided his home with dogs. He is currently being interrogated at the notorious Moskobiyyeh detention centre infamous for torture. He has not been charged with anything other than defending the rights of Palestinian prisoners.
Free Ayman Nasser
13 Palestinian MPs and Ministers remain in Israeli dungeons
Free Ayman Nasser - Addameer Human Rights Defender
Solidarity with the hunger strikers - Free Samer Al-Issawi and Ayman Sharawna
Free all Palestinian MPs and Ministers
For more photos and insight on the preparation please visit our facebook page and our article on final preparations.
"Truth is on the side of the oppressed" - Malcolm X
Also Of Interest
Page URL: http://www.inminds.co.uk/article.php?id=10572