Thursday, January 14, 2010

Comrade Itiani: 2009 was a year of repression and steadfastness for Palestinian prisoners

Posted on the PFLP website

Click here for French translation
Comrade Maysar Itiani, prisoners' affairs activist, said on January 1, 2010 that the year 2009 saw a continuation of the repressive measures and practices against our brave prisoners in the jails of the occupation, including a marked increase in the use of solitary confinement, isolation, and imposition of restrictions and sanctions upon them. She particularly noted that prisoners from Gaza have been denied family visits for three years.

In an interview with Al-Quds TV, she denounced the separation of Gaza prisoners from their families, saying that it has taken place since 2007, when the occupation Knesset labeled prisoners from Gaza "illegal combatants," a practice upheld by the occupation courts, illustrating the nature of the occupation courts as part and parcel of the structure of the Zionist project.

Comrade Itiani said that despite these difficult conditions, Palestinian prisoners are constantly confronting the occupier. "We will always be stronger and more solid in this confrontation," she said.

She described her own recent arrest and detention on December 9, 2009, when occupation forces stormed her house in Nablus and arrested her and her brother, Abdel Nasser. They were bound and placed in small, dark cold cells before being taken to Hasharon prison for interrogation. She said that she came out from detention more determined than ever in her advocacy for prisoners, emphasizing the need to expose the policy of solitary confinement and isolation.

Comrade Itiani noted that PFLP General Secretary, Comrade Ahmad Sa'adat, has been held in isolation for nearly a year. She saluted her sister prisoners from Islamic Jihad and Hamas who were imprisoned with her in the interrogation period in Hasharon prison, as well as all of the comrade and brother prisoners of the PFLP, Fateh and all factions who stood by her during the arrest period, particularly Comrade Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Marwan Barghouthi and Amir Touqan.

On Thursday, December 31, 2009, Comrade Mohammed Abu Oun returned to Jabalya, Gaza after 6 years in the prisons of the occupation. He was warmly received by a rally of members and cadres of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine at Erez crossing. The PFLP congratulated Comrade Abu Oun and his family on his safe release, praising his steadfastness in the jails of the occupation, and saying  that complete joy will only come when all prisoners are released.

Comrade Abu Oun carried greetings from the prisoners,  affirming that the only mechanism to achieve the liberation of all of the prisoners is the resistance. He criticized the Palestinian Authority's approach to prisoners' issues, saying that the PA is not bearing its full responsibility in meeting their needs or alleviating their suffering.

Comrade Abu Aoun was kidnapped by the occupation forces in 2003 and sentenced to six years in prison. An additional year was arbitrarily added to his sentence in 2007 when all prisoners from Gaza were classified as "unlawful combatants."