Saturday, December 15, 2018

Ramleh: demonstration in solidarity with hunger strikers

Juicebox Gallery

By Felix Black - February 06, 2013
Section: [Main News] [IN PICTURES]
Tags: [Samer Issawi ] [Ramleh prison hospital] [protests] [Hunger Strike]

Photos by Calum Toogood.

Over 150 activists attended a demonstration outside the notorious Ramleh prison hospital in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners inside, including long-term hunger striker Samer Issawi. Coming from all over the 48 territories and Jerusalem, the activists chanted and sang in support of the prisoners in front of the prison gates for several hours.

The demonstration comes amidst growing international concern for Issawi’s life as he goes past his 195th day without food, on hunger strike over his un-just imprisonment. He has been imprisoned, in solitary confinement with sound-proof doors, without charge since July 7th 2012.

Soldiers were alerted to the presence of the demonstrators almost immediately, with tear gas canisters and a skunk canon made available as activist numbers began to swell. 

The strong military presence did not deter the crowd, which boasted a large contingent of children several of whom regularly sparked and led the chanting. 

“Samer, Samer don’t you quit!” the crowd chanted repeatedly in Arabic, “Greetings, high greetings for the empty stomachs!”

“Israel has over 4,000 political prisoners, women, children and men, many of them without any charge,” one activist from Haifa stated. “This demonstration is for all of them”.

Ramleh prison is regarded as one of Israel’s highest security prisons. Last year, a similar demonstration was violently removed by Israeli police and security forces, with several arrests and several people injured. 

“Yes we were scared about coming to Ramleh prison again,” Mahasin Salah, an activist at the demonstration said. “But the victory will not happen if we don’t continue resistance. We don’t forget [any] of Palestine, and for all of Palestine we have to release all the prisoners.”

The demonstration this year did not break into violence but, according to Mahasin, the effect it had in the international media was just as strong. 

Samer, along with the thousands of other Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, will continue their plight against the injustice inflicted upon them. Demonstrations support and sustain their efforts, and help display to the world the absence of justice a Palestinian prisoner receives at the hands of an occupying regime.

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