NOTE: As of the evening of 30 August 2016, Ayed al-Heraimi has ended his hunger strike. The Balboul brothers and Malik al-Qadi remain on strike and are in urgent need of support and solidarity.
Four Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike in Israeli jails against their administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. All four are currently held in Israeli hospitals as their health conditions have seriously deteriorated.
Mahmoud al-Balboul, 21, has been on hunger strike since 4 July; his brother Mohammed al-Balboul, 26, has been on hunger strike since 7 July. The brothers are joined by Ayed al-Heraimi and Malik al-Qadi, on hunger strike since 16 July to demand their freedom; all are imprisoned without charge or trial under indefinitely renewable “administrative detention orders.” They launched their strikes during the 71-day strike of Bilal Kayed against the attempt to impose administrative detention following his completion of a 14.5-year prison sentence and are continuing to demand their freedom. Kayed’s family have urged all supporters in Palestine and internationally to continue their efforts and level of struggle to free the four strikers and bring an end to administrative detention. There are currently approximately 750 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention.
Khader Adnan, former hunger striker and prisoner advocate, urged that the four strikers find a collective agreement to secure all of their freedom and bring an end to administrative detention against them. He urged greater action and solidarity with the four striking prisoners.
As Mahmoud al-Balboul reaches his 60th day on hunger strike, Qadri Abu Wasel, a Palestinian organizer from Nazareth in ’48 Palestine, attempted to visit him in Assaf Harofeh hospital. Abu Wasel, of Abnaa el-Balad, is a longtime struggler for the freedom of Palestinian and Arab political prisoners in Israeli jails. He was stopped by Israeli guards as he attempted to enter Mahmoud’s room; he called to Mahmoud that he was a human rights activist and supported him, asking him how he was. Abu Wasel reported that Mahmoud smiled at him before he was forced to leave the area; he was then prevented from accessing his brother Mohammed or Ayed al-Heraimi.
Al-Heraimi is in a very serious health condition after 45 days of hunger strike, reported Mohja al-Quds Foundation on 30 August. He has lost the ability to speak, has severe pain throughout his body, suffers from blurred vision and has difficulty drinking water at all. Heraimi, 23, has been held without charge or trial since 23 December 2015; he was re-arrested only weeks after 3 years in Israeli prison.
Malik al-Qadi, 20, also on his 45th day of hunger strike, was transferred to Wolfson hospital on 30 August, reported Mohja al-Quds, following a further deterioration of his health. He has been detained without charge or trial since 22 May, only a month after his release after four months of detention without charge or trial.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges supporters of justice and liberation for Palestinian prisoners and for Palestine to build on their excellent work to support Bilal Kayed and his fellow hunger strikers to continue efforts to free these four Palestinian prisoners and take action between 3-10 September 2016. Their bodies are on the line in the struggle to secure their freedom and end administrative detention – and the struggle for the liberation of all Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian people.
Now is the time for urgent action to support Mahmoud al-Balboul, Mohammed al-Balboul, Ayed al-Heraimi and Malik al-Qadi in their struggle for freedom.
1. Hold a direct action, protest, picket or demonstration, including building the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to internationally isolate Israel, its institutions, and the corporations – like G4S -that profit from imprisonment, occupation, racism, colonialism and injustice. Demand freedom for the Balboul brothers, al-Heraimi, al-Qadi and all Palestinian prisoners. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or post to Samidoun on Facebook about your events and actions.
2. Call political figures to demand action for the four hunger strikers. Call your government officials to pressure them to end the silence and complicity with the Israeli regime of political imprisonment and administrative detention.
Call during your country’s regular office hours:
- Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop: + 61 2 6277 7500
- Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion: +1-613-996-5789
- European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
- New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully: +64 4 439 8000
- United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: +44 20 7008 1500
- United States President Barack Obama: 1-202-456-1111
- Four Palestinian prisoners, Mahmoud al-Balboul, Mohammed al-Balboul, Ayed al-Heraimi and Malik al-Qadi, have been on hunger strike since July against administrative detention, Israeli imprisonment without charge or trial.
- Your government must demand the strikers’ immediate release and end all support for Israel’s political imprisonment and other crimes against Palestinians.
- Israel’s use of administrative detention is a universally-recognized violation of human rights and international law.
- The government must do more than criticize administrative detention or express concern, but should also take serious measures to end these violations.