Empty Stomach Warriors: A Show of Solidarity
Photo Blog by Dylan Collins
A crowd of over 200 gathered outside of Israel’s Ramleh Prison Hospital on Thursday, in solidarity with the over 2,000 Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike. The joint strike, which began on 17 April 2012, was initiated in conjunction with Palestinian Prisoners’ Day in protest at Israel’s exploitive use of administrative detention and the inhuman treatment of Palestinian prisoners.
Eight long-term Palestinian hunger strikers are currently being held in Israel’s Ramleh prison hospital, including: Bilal Diab (67 days), Thaer Halahleh (67 days), Hassan Safadi (62 days), Omar Abu Shanan (61 days), Jafar Ezzedine (44 days).
“These men are all being denied access to independent doctors and lawyers, despite their rapidly deteriorating health conditions, as Israeli authorities continue to violate their human rights, in particular their right to health,” the
Addameer Association for Prisoner Support and Human Rights said in a statement yesterday.
Thursday’s protest were relatively quiet for two hours with only a few Ramleh police and prison guards standing on the outskirts of the demonstrations.
However things changed drastically when activists attempted to leave the confined area in which Israeli Authorities had given them a permit to demonstrate. Within five minutes, over 75 Israeli border and riot police encircled the demonstration.
Eight demonstrators were arrested while the rest of the protest was pushed back into a small corner, where they were held for over an hour.
Later that night, family members of the eight detainees went to the Ramleh police station to check on the status of their arrests. The family members, along with a lawyer, were reportedly beaten inside the station, with Israeli police arresting eight more people.