Families of political detainees in W.B. hold sit-in, demand their release

[ 27/05/2011 – 10:42 AM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)– Families of the political detainees in Junaid prison in Nablus city have decided to hold a sit-in in front of the jail after PA security forces refused to let them visit their sons who started an open hunger strike two days ago.

Palestinian lawmaker MP. Fathi Al-Qarawi, of Hamas parliamentary bloc in the PLC, was among the sit-inners as two of his sons were among the hunger strikers in the jail.

Qarawi said that he was participating as a father of two and not as a lawmaker, adding that the sit-inners wanted to deliver humanitarian message and not a political one.

“The file of the political detainees is of great importance and a very sensitive file, and it should be addressed before any other files and without further discussions in order to assure the Palestinian people that the national reconciliation is still on track”, Qarawi said as he urged the swift release of all political detainees as stipulated in the national reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo early this month.

The sit-inners also accused the PA security forces of attempting to disperse them by force, alleging that the sin-in was against the law and that they got to stop it.

“We have heard a lot of promises from the PA that our sons would be released soon, but we see nothing on the ground, we are fed up with empty promises,” said mother of one of the detainees in the prison in a phone interview with the PIC correspondent.

Most of the hunger strikers are students of the Najah University.

Meanwhile, in the southern West Bank, dozens of relatives of political detainees in Al-Khalil city gathered at the main square in the city’s down town urging Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and political leaders of the Palestinian factions to release their sons.

They held placards with phrases demanding the immediate halt of political detention and political summonses against Hamas cadres, chanting “The people want to end summonses”, “Why is the security coordination while we all still under bullets of the IOF”, “Oh Abbas, Oh Fayyadh, our captives are the main concern”.

MP Mohammed Abu Juhaishah spoke in the sit-in and called on Abbas to issue his orders for the release of all political detainees in the West Bank, and to respect the Supreme Court orders in this regard.

PA security forces in the city surrounded the gathering and attempted to break the sit-in by force as they arrested Palestinian cameraman Ishaq Arafa who was covering the event, and questioned him before his release.

The reconciliation agreement signed by all Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas, early this month in Cairo stipulates the immediate release of all political detainees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip without any conditions.

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