Without freedom, no one really has a name.Milton Acorda
Palestinian political prisoner, Maher Younis, a resident of the 1948 occupied territories has started a hunger strike in quest of his basic human rights. Younis has been in Israeli jails for more than 30 years. According to UFree Network, he spent and continues most of his sentence in cells which lacks basics of living conditions in addition to undergoing solitary confinement. All this period, he was deprived meeting his mother face to face but through a glass barrier. Meanwhile, since his arrest in 1983, he was not granted any of the basic rights of prisoners granted to other Israeli prisoners.
In a press statement dispatched to the press, UFree expressed its deep support to Younis’s action and called on Human Rights organisations to work towards releasing him and all other Palestinian political prisoners including those who are residents of the occupied 1948 territories.
UFree revealed a massage by Younis which illustrates the reasons beyond his strike.
“The issue of Palestinian prisoners is a cohesive cause and can’t be divided into various old or new categories. Our strike today aims at exposing the racist Israeli practices against us. Many of Israeli criminal prisoners were released although they killed innocent Palestinian civilians. They were sentenced for imprisonment lives and then released through various amnesties. They get different advantages while Palestinians don’t. Palestinian prisoners are deprived of the basic rights enshrined in the Humanitarian laws and accords” Said Younis
In this regard, UFree Network urges activists to continue their non-violent resistance to support the cause of Palestinian political prisoners. According to the network, the issue of prisoners should be set in motion as the American president is due to visit the region. It also invited the people to attend the hunger strike tent based ahead of the United Nations HQ in Ramallah.
The statement revealed that the number of 1948 territories prisoners ranges between 90 to 100, 14 of them spent more than 20 years in Israeli jails. This includes prisoners of long sentences like the cousin of Maher Younis, Karim Younis who spent 31 years in the Jail.
Chairman of UFree Network, Mohammad Hamdan, stated that Israeli violations of Human rights accords and laws abuse the credibility of these laws and its basis.
“International community must act immediately and save Palestinian prisoners. They must pressure Israel to meet its obligations regarding the agreements of prisoners’ rights. Human rights organisations must open field investigations into the Israeli crimes then submitting their outcomes to the concerned UN bodies and agencies. They should act instead of their silence which is considered as complicity.” Said Hamdan
Most of the political prisoners of 1948 territories are placed in unit 4 in the Nafha desert prison where each 10 prisoners dwell a small cell sized 24 square meters. There is no adequate ventilation nor healthy and hygiene environment which double their suffering. A prisoner named, Salman Daraja, died earlier due to these conditions. The prisoners suffer from various diseases like heart complications, diabetes and blood pressure. The suffering of 1948 territories prisoners is not limited to themselves, their families also suffer. The families are not allowed to visit them more than twice a month with a length of 45 minutes per visit which is a total of 18 hours a year. The families pass by different military obstacles when visiting their sons which add more insult to the injury.
According to UFree Network, Israeli inhuman practices include, midnight military storming to prisoners cells, obliging them to get naked, imposing financial fines against them and depriving them from any breaks inside prison rest areas. Add to this, there is great medical negligence which complicates their health conditions plus the bodily violence and torture committed against them.
The Story of Suha