Prisoners in Israeli occupation jails who are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine warned of an escalation of attacks against prisoners and a deepening crisis of abuse and deteriorating conditions within the prisons on January 16, 2012. In an urgent message from inside the prisons, the prisoners called for the Palestinian leadership and Palestinian factions and political parties to shoulder their responsibilities to take action to defend the prisoners.
The prisoners’ statement was released on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the kidnapping of General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat by Palestinian Authority security services. The message from the prisoners emphasized that prison conditions continue to deteriorate, and the humanitarian situation worsen. There is an unprecedented campaign of mistreatment and abuse of prisoners and the practice of retribution against them, said the prisoners, noting that such attacks come as an attempt to undermine the gains of the prisoners’ movement achieved through great sacrifices by Palestinian prisoners through decades of struggle.
The prisoners criticized the inaction and apathy of the Palestinian leadership and factions toward the prisoners’ suffering, and demanded that they put pressure on the occupation state to release Palestinian prisoners and end the escalating repressive actions against prisoners. The prisoners warned that if the situation continues they will soon return to a comprehensive open-ended hunger strike.
Said the prisoners, “Instead of the Palestinian Authority functioning as a burden on the Palestinian people and a tool to arrest activists, after the great crime of kidnapping the leader Ahmad Sa’adat, it should have directed all of its efforts in the struggle against the Israeli occupation, including giving priority to the prisoners’ cause as central to the Palestinian struggle.” The prisoners called upon the international community and international human rights institutions to take legal action to prosecute the occupation power in international forums and courts of law for its violation of international law, human rights conventions and international legal norms on the treatment of prisoners.
The prisoners condemned the ongoing policy of isolation by the occupation against prisoner leaders from all factions and particularly the leader Ahmad Sa’adat, who has now been in isolaton for nearly three consecutive years. The statement also condemned the recent action of Israel Prison Services to break up Islamic Jihad prisoners and distribute them into the rooms of prisoners from other factions, saying that this is an attempt to break the long-set precedent of rooming by factions within the prison, a gain won by the prisoners’ movement through struggle.
The PFLP prisoners also saluted Islamic Jihad activist and leader Khader Adnan, who has been on hunger strike for more than 11 days after he was attacked by a prison officer during an interrogation.
The prisoners appealed to the Palestinian people and the national movement to take quick and serious action in order to support the prisoners and end their suffering, saying that the prisoners’ cause must be placed at the forefront of the national struggle. The situation within the prison has reached a point of no return, and the prisoners are determined to directly confront the occupation with all of their resolve, they said.