#PalHunger | FIFA urgently calls for Mahmoud Sarsak’s release

URGENT | June 14, 2012 | 20 children started hunger strike in Israeli prison

[ PIC 14/06/2012 – 12:32 PM ]

PARIS, (PIC)– The International Federation of Football Associations, FIFA, condemned Israel illegal detention of the Palestinian footballer Sarsak who has gone on an open hunger strike since three months. It also called for his release and safety for all Palestinian footballers, insisting to be legally treated.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter “expressed grave concern” regarding the incarceration of the international football player Mahmoud Sarsak. A statement on the organization’s website said that “the reports FIFA received state that in apparent violation of their integrity and human rights and without the apparent right of a due process (trial), several Palestine football players have allegedly been illegally detained by Israeli authorities.”

The reports stated that the Israeli authorities abducted Palestinian footballers without trial or charge including Sarsak, whom Blatter said, “is in a very delicate state due to the fact that he has been undergoing a hunger strike for approximately 90 days in protest of his alleged illegal detention.”

FIFA president Sepp Blatter called on the Israeli Football Association (IFA) to urge the Israeli government to save Sarsak. Blatter’s official statement added “FIFA urgently calls on IFA to draw the attention of the Israeli competent authorities to the present matter, with the aim of ensuring the physical integrity of the concerned players as well as their right for due process.”

The matter came to FIFA’s attention following correspondence with the Palestine Football Association, several international media reports concerning the football player Mahmoud Sarsak, and a FIFPro media release.

Mahmoud Sarsak, from Rafah in the southern Gaza strip, has been imprisoned by Israel for the past three years, after being arrested by the Israeli military on 22 July 2009 at the Erez checkpoint in Gaza while on his way to join the Palestine National Football team for a match in Balata refugee camp in the West Bank. He has been turned directly to administrative detention without trial or charge where he is still facing constant renewal of indefinite detention. After he has been jailed without charge or trial for almost three years, Sarsak decided to go on an open hunger strike in March where he continues his hunger strike for the 89th day running as the longest hunger strike in the history of strikes around the world.


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