Over 1500 Palestinian political prisoners launch hunger strike (Press Conference)

Over 1500 Palestinian political prisoners launch hunger strike (Press Conference)

24 April 2017
Members of the media are invited to a press conference today (Monday 24 April 2017) at 12h00 in Johannesburg at Constitution Hill (Women’s Jail, Constitution Hill, 11 Kotze St, Johannesburg).
The press conference will outline and update members of the media regarding the current hunger strike launched by Palestinian political prisoners, conditions they face and the Israeli response thus far (click here or see below for background info). We will also announce nationwide actions, events and other activities that will be embarked on across South Africa in solidarity with this hunger strike that Palestinian political prisoners launched exactly a week ago on Monday 17 April.
The press conference and upcoming solidarity actions with the Palestinian political prisoners is supported by a broad base of South African organizations including the National Coalition 4 Palestine (NC4P), SA Jews for a Free Palestine, the Embassy of the State of Palestine, Ex Political Prisoners Association of South Africa, Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, MJC and various others (a fuller list of participating groups will be publicized at today’s press conference and as solidarity events unfold).
Anti-apartheid icons`and former South African political prisoners, some of whom themselves participated in hunger strikes, will also speak at the press conference including Ronnie Swatrz (Former Anti-Apartheid Hunger Striker), Mandla Nkomfe (Former Anti-Apartheid Hunger Striker), Shanti Naidoo (former Anti-Apartheid Political Prisoner), Mpho Masemola (Chairperson of Ex Political Prisoner Association of South Africa) and Former ANC Rivonia Trialist Denis Goldberg (written message to be read out).
For info contact:
Neeshan Bolton: 082 373 1143
Kwara Kekana: 074 054 3826
Free Palestinian Political Prisoners (South African Campaign) 
All South African organisation, political parties, trade unions, charities, human rights bodies and other groups are invited to join this initiative. Either send an email to PalestinePoliticalPrisoners.SA@gmail.com or visit www.nc4psouthafrica.com/free-palestine-political-prisoners
Background:
– On Monday, 17 April, over 1500 Palestinian political prisoners launched an open-ended hunger strike across Israeli jails, detention centers and prisons. The hunger strike has the support of the virtual entirety of Palestinian political organizations as well as civil society bodies.
– Over the past 50 years, more than 800 000 Palestinians have been imprisoned or detained by Israel (about 40% of all Palestinian men living under military occupation have at some point been detained by Israel).
– There are currently over 6000 Palestinian political prisoners detained by Israel
– More than 500 Palestinians are held under Israel’s “administrative detention” (equivalent of Apartheid SA’s “detention without trial”)
– 13 Palestinian parliamentarians are also currently being held by Israel.
– There are 28 Palestinian journalists incarcerated in Israeli prisons
– Israel is also holding 300 Palestinian children (some as young as 11 years old)
– In the last one year period Israel has arrested more than 400 Palestinians for social media posts.
Click here for an article by Palestinian political prisoner Marwan Barghouti published in the New York Times newspaper.
Click here for infographics on the issue.
Click here for more information including statistics from the Palestinian Prisoner and Human Rights Association Addameer

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