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[25 Apr 2015]

PORTUGAL, PALESTINE AND THE VALUES OF APRIL

On April 25, 1974, the military who, embodied in the Armed Forces Movement, returned to the Portuguese people the freedom, the dignity and the hope, paved the way for the independence of peoples under the Portuguese colonial rule and repositioned Portugal in the right place in the concert of nations, elected three banners for their action: democratize, decolonize, develop.

To celebrate the 41st anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, the MPPM calls for the popular movement, local authorities, trade unions, the youth movements and women's organizations, for other democratic and progressive organizations and all citizens in general to give expression to the liberating solidary spirit of April, contributing to increase awareness and mobilization around the national cause of the Palestinian people, inspired by the three April banners:

Democratize - Require that the Palestinian people is master of his destiny; demand an end to the arbitrary arrests and the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails; require that Israel and the international community respect the rights of the Palestinian people and the expression of his will.

Decolonize - Demand the end of the illegal occupation by Israel of the Palestinian territories and the creation of a sovereign and independent Palestinian state, thereby implementing the UN promises and the expressed will of the majority of countries around the world through its recognition of the Palestinian state; demand the dismantling of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and the return of refugees; demand an end to pilferage by Israel of Palestinian resources, first the water and the land; demand an end to discriminatory practices of Israel against Palestinian citizens; demand the dismantling the infamous Apartheid Wall.

Develop - Demand the end of the inhumane siege of Gaza that encloses 1.8 million people in an open-air prison; recognize to the Palestinian people the right to fully control the borders of their country and to freely determine their movements; demand that Israel hands over to the Palestinian people that tax money that it illegally retains; demand that Israel cease its brutal military interventions that destroy the entire Palestinian economic base.

On April 25, 1975 was elected the Constituent Assembly, that drew up and approved the Constitution, which came into force a year later, with its markedly humanistic, progressive and pacifist character, as regards international relations, which remains in spite of attacks and kinks of which has been targeted. It should be remembered, in this date, the April values ​​enshrined in the Constitution:

1. Portugal is governed in international relations by the principles of national independence, respect for human rights, the rights of peoples, equality between States, the peaceful settlement of international disputes, non-interference in the internal affairs of other States and cooperation with all other peoples for the emancipation and progress of mankind.

2. Portugal advocates the abolition of imperialism, colonialism and any other forms of aggression, domination and exploitation in relations between peoples and the general, simultaneous and controlled disarmament, the dissolution of political-military blocs and the establishment of a collective security system, with a view to creating an international order capable of ensuring peace and justice in relations between peoples.

3. Portugal recognizes the right of peoples to the self-determination and independence and to the development, as well as the right to insurrection against all forms of oppression.

As we also celebrate today the anniversary of the entry into force of the Constitution, the MPPM urges the Portuguese government to respect the Constitution, both in the relations between States and in the international organizations in which Portugal is a part, particularly in the treatment of the Palestinian question and the situation in the Middle East, respecting and making respect the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence and advocating a peaceful solution to the conflict, refraining from interference in the internal affairs of other states.

Lisbon, April 25th, 2015

The National Board of Directors of MPPM

 
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[17 Apr 2015]

PORTUGUESE SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS

We celebrate today, April 17th, another Palestinian Prisoner Day. Since when, in 1974, as part of a prisoners exchange, Mahmoud Hijazi Baker, the first Palestinian arrested by Israel after the occupation of the territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, was released, the Palestinian people recall, on this date, all their children who pay in prison the price of their commitment to the fight for freedom and resistance to occupation. In a framework of constant and systematic repression, of violation of the most basic human rights, of occupation, theft and robbery, of ethnic cleansing and destruction of cultural identity, as what the Palestinian people face every day, it is not easy to determine the exact number of Palestinian men, women or children detained in each moment in Israeli jails. Organizations that follow the situation of Palestinian prisoners estimate that there are now more than six thousand prisoners, among which twenty-three women and one hundred sixty-three children, of which thirteen under the age of sixteen. Of these near six thousand prisoners, there are four hundred eighty-four serving life imprisonment, and thirty are detained since before the Oslo accords, signed in 1993. Among the Palestinian prisoners, there are around 16 Members of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). There are four hundred fifty-four prisoners, including 10 MP, in administrative detention, that is, without trial or charges, some of them for more than two years, the highest number in the last five years.

But the cold reality of the numbers does not translate the gravity of the situation of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Under an iron regime of occupation that lasts for decades, virtually every Palestinian family has a father or a mother, a son or a daughter, a grandson or a granddaughter, a brother or a sister who, at some point in his life, met the reality of Israeli jails. For the Palestinian patriots and resistant, the daily life in Israeli jails is marked by torture and ill-treatment - accepted, moreover, by the law of the state - the deprivation of basic rights and needs, including the right to receive visits from their immediate relatives, I outright disregard for all international conventions regulating international humanitarian law. But this is only one dimension of the problem. The condition of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails is political before being humanitarian. Palestinian men and women imprisoned in Israeli jails are detained under an oppressive system that is illegally occupying their land and who has not, therefore, any legitimacy to condemn them. As is well demonstrated by the recent arrest of Khalida Jarrar, MP, Chairperson of the Political Prisoners Committee of the Palestinian Legislative Council, director of Addameer – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association – and a member of several defense of women's rights organizations, Palestinian prisoners are convicted for the sole reason that they defend the dignity of their people and fight for the liberation of their land.

To all the men and women who, anywhere in the world, when fighting for the rights of the peoples and for the emancipation of the people, had to face imprisonment, torture and humiliation, the situation of Palestinian prisoners is familiar. There is no point that Israel propaganda insists in qualifying its regime as "the only democracy in the Middle East".  For those who, in Portugal, fought the fascist dictatorship, faced the farce of the plenary courts and their notorious security measures, or were victims of torture and constant humiliation, the daily repression and arbitrariness which the Palestinian prisoners and their families are subject to is too violent to not evoke the days of lead in the political jails of Peniche, the Aljube or Caxias. And it is also why those who resisted and fought with courage the most violent and hideous face of fascism, as well as those who, in Portugal, accompany the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people, know the importance of the value of solidarity, of fraternal embrace , of gestures no matter how simple that convey encouragement and confidence, of the persistent efforts to break the wall of silence, isolation and libel that Israel and its Zionist supporters cast upon the struggle of the Palestinian people, by denouncing the crimes of the occupation and revealing the righteousness of their struggle.

Thus, on the occasion of the 41st anniversary of the Palestinian Prisoner Day, MPPM – Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East – and URAP  – Union  of Portuguese Antifascist Resistant – express their deep and heartfelt solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people and especially with the Palestinians patriots imprisoned in Israeli jails, and denounce the illegal and illegitimate nature of their arrest and the brutal conditions to which they are subjected by the repressive prison system of Israel. They condemn in particular the arrest of children and the practice of torture, ill-treatment and abuse of Palestinian prisoners, as well as the figure of administrative detention, and call for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners. MPPM and URAP reiterate their firm willingness to work in the specific context of each organization, and in cooperation with all expressions of public opinion movements, for the solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people against the occupation, affirming their inalienable right to self-determination and independence and the establishment of a free, independent and sovereign State in the territories occupied in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, and with a just solution to the refugee issue, in accordance with international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.

Lisbon, April 17, 2015

MPPM- Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East

URAP - Union of Portuguese Antifascist Resistant 

 
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[04 Apr 2015]

FOR THE IMMEDIATE LIBERATION OF KHALEDA  JARRAR

Khaleda Jarrar, an MP in the Palestinian Parliament, was detained last Thursday, April 2, when several dozen elements of the Israeli army assaulted her home in Ramallah, where she was with her husband and daughter.

Khaleda Jarrar, is a 52-year old lawyer, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and human rights activist. She chairs the Committee for Palestinian Prisoners of the Palestinian Legislative Council (Parliament) and she is a leader of Addameer, an organization devoted to the defense of prisoners' rights. She is also a member of several organizations that defend women's rights.

Since 1998 she is banned from traveling outside Palestine and only once, in 2010, after months of public campaigns, was she authorized to receive medical treatment in Jordan, despite suffering from a chronic illness.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Army, quoted by the Ma'an News Agency, accused Kahleda Jarrar of being the leader of a 'terrorist organization' and of having encouraged 'terrorist activities' in recent weeks. However, as Addameer clarifies, "most Palestinian political organizations are considered illegal by Israel, including PLO member organizations, and an association with such organizations is frequently used as a pretext for detention".

The same Israeli spokesperson justified the detention with the fact that Khaleda Jarrar refused to accept a deportation order issued last August. In fact, she received from the Israeli occupation authorities  a deportation order from Ramallah to Jericho. She refused to accept it and set up a tent, in the lobby of the Palestinian Parliament in Ramallah,where she lived and worked until, on September 16, the deportation order was annulled, following an international campaign in her support. A PLO statement, issued at the time, considered the order illegal because it violated "Israel's obligations under international law and treaties to respect the rights of individuals, including the rights to self-determination, freedom of movement, privacy, and protection of the family". Furthermore, this order represented an attempt at a "forcible transfer, unlawful confinement and persecution, all of which are crimes punishable under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court".

Today, there are 18 Palestinian members of Parliament in jail, 9 of which under administrative detention, without due process or duly charged. There are over six thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, 454 of which are under administrative detention. According to data available on February 2015, 163 of these are children, of which 13 are under 16 years of age.

Considering that the detention of Khaleda Jarrar

  • is an attempt to break the Palestinian people's spirit of resistance to the occupation, depriving them of their leaders and activists in defense of their rights
  • is an attack against democracy, targeting a freely elected representative of the people
  • was carried out in violation of international law and international humanitarian law, namely the Geneva Conventions, as regards the obligations and restrictions on an occupying power

The Portuguese Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and Peace in the Middle East (MPPM):

  • Demands, from the Government of Israel, the immediate liberation of Khaleda Jarrar and other Palestinian MPs under arrest without charge, as well as of all Palestinian prisoners who are illegitimately and illegally in Israeli jails;
  • Calls upon all Members of the Portuguese Parliament to express their solidarity with Khaleda Jarrar and other Palestinian MPs jailed by Israel, demanding the respect for their rights;
  • Demands, that the Portuguese Government, in its relations with Israel and in keeping with the Constitution of the [Portuguese] Republic and the dispositions of international law and international humanitarian law to which Portugal has signed up, draws the full consequences of Israel's repeated non-abidance of these legal norms.
  • Calls upon all Portuguese Members of the European Parliament to express their solidarity with Khaleda Jarrar and other Palestinian MPs jailed by Israel, demanding respect for their rights, and also demanding that the Governments of the European Union countries draw all consequences from the reiterated violation by Israel of its obligations, as the occupying power of Palestine.

 Lisbon, April 4, 2015

The National Directorate of MPPM

 
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