#PalHunger | Families of political detainees protest outside Bethlehem intelligence prison

[ PIC 28/06/2012 – 03:53 PM ]

BETHLEHEM,(PIC)– Political prisoners’ families have gathered, on Wednesday afternoon, outside Bethlehem intelligence prison in the south western West Bank, demanding the release of their sons.

Local sources told PIC that the families came on buses from AL-Khalil city to the city of Bethlehem protesting against the continued detention of their sons, who have been on hunger strike for eight days running, by the PA security services.

The sources added that members of security forces surrounded them as an attempt to break up their sit-in, and detained the young man Muhammad Saad al-Qawasmi, and beat him and confiscated his identity card in addition to his mobile phone.

The Legislative Council MPs Bassem Zarir and Samira Halaiqa have participated in the sit-in, in addition to the prisoners’ families and a number of supporters.

The protesters raised banners denouncing the political detention and chanted slogans calling for the release of their sons. The security agencies had prevented media from covering the protest, under the pretext that it is a military area.

Meanwhile, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) called on the PA to release immediately the prisoners, whose release was ordered by a court decision, following the provisions of law and international conventions.

ICHR expressed, in a statement on Thursday, deep concern “foe the detainees’ lives who went on hunger strike since 20 June in detention and interrogation center of the General Intelligence in the city of Bethlehem especially after their health deterioration.

The commission said that it had visited the detainees who went on hunger strike protesting against their continued arbitrary detention despite the fact that the Palestinian courts had issued decision to release them.

Six political prisoners affiliated with Hamas, have continued their open hunger strike demanding their release from PA prisons. Muhammad Abu Hadid, Osman Qawasmi, Moatassem Natsheh, and Mohammed al-Atrash had begun the strike in the intelligence prisons on Wednesday (June 20th), Anas Abu Merghia who began his hunger strike in the Ramallah intelligence prison since Friday (June 22th), while the sixth detainee, Islam Aruri from the town of Arurah near Ramallah, has begun the strike in the Preventive Security prisons also on Friday (June 22nd).

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