Sunday, October 9, 2011

European politicians rally support for hunger strike in Israeli prisons

[ 09/10/2011 - 12:35 PM ]

LONDON, (PIC)--  European parliamentarians are participating in the drafting of a petition aimed at rallying support inside the British Parliament as thousands of Palestinian prisoners embark on the 13th day of hunger strike.

The European network to support the Palestinian prisoners (UFree), based in Norwegian capital Oslo, said it has received “positive responses”  by members of the British Parliament with regard to the matter. Many have expressed interest in learning the details of the strike as well as human rights violations inside the prisons that triggered the mass protests, UFree said in a statement on Sunday.

UFree said several European parliamentarians and rights groups have signed an e-petition in solidarity with the prisoners at the onset of the strike, in a campaign to raise awareness of the prisoners’ cause in Europe. Meanwhile, European parliamentarians and activists have pledged to cooperate in increasing the number of signatures to the petition and putting forth more efforts for the cause.

UFree said a positive response was received by Amnesty International, as he UN body asked UFree to provide reports detailing the strike and the circumstances enveloping the prisoners in the Israeli prisons. Amnesty also promised to work seriously to bring justice to the prisoners in a way that is guaranteed by UN conventions concerning prisoner rights.

Meanwhile, Palestinian youths have begun to make Facebook calls in Arabic and English to gather support for the prisoners during the hunger strike in a bid to counter an Israeli media onslaught to justify ongoing abuses against the prisoners inside the Israeli prisons.

The campaign uses a crew to provide moment by moment coverage of developments in the strike.

Hundreds of trade union officials protested outside of the Red Cross offices in Gaza Saturday morning in solidarity with the prisoners’ strike.

A representative of the Palestinian trade unions association Osama al-Balaawi wore symbolic chains as calls were made to free the prisoners, improve conditions inside the prisons, and launch an international investigation against Israeli officials for abuses against the captives.