Twenty-five portuguese organizations adhere to international journey in solidarity with palestinian prisoners
On 17 April, about 1500 Palestinians jailed in Israeli prisons for resisting occupation and repression launched a hunger strike, the «strike for freedom and dignity».
The hunger strike is an extreme step: deprived of other means of protest, prisoners use their own bodies, endanger their own lives to demand the improvement of their conditions and their liberation.
The hunger strikers, of all political factions, demand basic rights such as the right to phone their families, family visits, access to distance higher education, adequate medical care, and the end of solitary confinement and detention without charge or trial.
MPPM (Portuguese Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East) notes with concern the role played by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, in the process leading to the resignation of Rima Khalaf from the post of Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
The succession of events deserves to be briefly considered. On Wednesday, March 15, ESCWA published a landmark document accusing Israel of apartheid, in a report concluding that «Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole».
We know that the mandate that you begin today will be very demanding.
Our planet's problems are dramatic and demand urgent action by the international community.
Perhaps never since World War II have the dangers of a conflict between the biggest nuclear powers on the planet been so great.
For the peoples of the Middle East, the scourge of war is already a terrible reality. The 21st Century has been for them a century of successive wars, imposed or nourished from abroad, as a result of unconfessed ambitions of economic domination.
It was with deep regret that the MPPM- Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and Peace in the Middle East - took note of the death of Silas Coutinho Cerqueira, our founding member, director and major driver, occurred yesterday. His wake will take place at the House of Peace, headquarters of the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation in Lisbon, at Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 56, 2nd, between 17h and 22h, on Wednesday, August 24th, and between 10 hand 16h Thursday, 25 August. His funeral will take place in the cemetery of Alto de São João, on Thursday, from 17h.
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:
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.
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.
Declaration by the organizations which promoted the International Seminar in Solidarity with the Palestinian People
By decision of the UN General Assembly, 2014 is the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Also by decision of the UN General Assembly, every year, on November 29, there is an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The date was chosen in 1977, because on that very same day, in 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 on the Partition of Palestine, declaring the creation of two States on the historical territory of Palestine. The State of Israel was created the following year, with a unilateral declaration and a planned campaign of violence and terror which brought about a true ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population. But the promised State of Palestine is, still today, 67 years later, awaiting its materialization.
Continuing an initiative already traditional in its with activity, the MPPM organizes a number of events integrated into the Journeys of Solidarity with Palestine - 2012, around the date of November 29, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly as the International Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine, evoking the date on which, in 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II) which recommended the partition of Palestine into two states - one Jewish and one Arab - with a special status for Jerusalem but that was never fulfilled as regards the creation of a Palestinian state. The Journeys of Solidarity with Palestine - 2012 adopted as its motto: "Dignity - Freedom - Identity".
Elsa Rodrigues dos Santos, activist of MPPM since its foundation and presently a member of the National Directorate, died last Tuesday, aged 73, victim of sudden illness. She was the widow of painter Figueiredo Sobral.
Elsa Rodrigues dos Santos was an expert in Portuguese language and African literature and was President of the Society of Portuguese Language. She was a democratic activist, always eager to participate in fights in defense of the April revolution and for Peace and collaborated with the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation and the Portuguese Movement against Apartheid. She became a militant in the struggle for the rights and liberation of the Palestinian people since the Great World Conference of Solidarity with the Arab People and their Central Cause - Palestine, held in Lisbon in November 1979, which was attended by Yasser Arafat.