Posts Tagged ‘UFREE’
As part of the National Hungerstrike Commemoration 2012 Derry Friends of Palestine was invited to travel to Dungiven to deliver a talk and discussion on Palestine. The discussion was facilitated and chaired by Cathal Og Donnelly from the Sinn Féin – Republican Youth Committee. The talk covered the recent political situation, the EU trade agreement with israel, possible roles for Ireland, and of course on the heels of our successful Prisoners Conference in May, the event ended with a discussion of Palestinian prisoner issues. A special report on Fishermen in Gaza from our friend Jenny Graham in Gaza was read out. It covered the international work being done to help the fisherman. Jenny painted a dire and dangerous situation facing these fisherman as they come up against the israeli Navy on a frequent basis. Their boats are targetted, and at times their lives are lost, simply trying to make their living as fishermen. Big thanks to Jenny for keeping us updated. You can read Jenny’s report here.
Cathal Og Donnelly was recently in Gaza as part of the Irish Friends of Palestine Freedom and Friendship Student Delegation March/April 2012. Cathal discribed the harsh situation he witnessed in Gaza and told the story of a small boy who was walking to school with his little brother when an israeli missle struck and killed his young brother as he watched in horror. Cathal spoke of how the Delegation visited the boy’s school and witnessed the destruction of the apartment building next door near where the child had been murdered.
Gerry Maclochlainn gave an update on the current political situation in Palestine which covered the EU trade agreement with israel, what roles if any Ireland can play in helping the Palestinians move forward. He ended with a discussion onthe current Palesitnian hungerstrike and prisoners issues and abuses being suffered within the israeli prisons including human rights abuses, torture and internment.
The audience then heard a recorded message from a former Palestinian prisoner in Gaza who was recently released as part of the Gilad Shalit negotiated deal between israel and Hamas. The agreement saw hundreds of Palestinian prisoners released, many of whom had been held for years and never having been charged with any crime. This is an illegal practice called “Administrative Detention” better known to us in Ireland as “Internment.”
Ahmed Taha originallly spoke at the “Dying to Live” prisoners conference we held in association with our partners UFree. Abu Taha told the audience of the harsh conditions for prisoners in israeli gaols, and he delivered a heartfelt speech of solidarity and between Ireland and Palestine wiht quotes from Bobby Sands.
The meeting closed with a brief update from the Chair of Irish Friends of Palestine on the upcoming 2nd “Freedom and Friendship Delegation” to Gaza which covered how people can help and get involved with Irish Friends of Palestine.
Please enjoy more photos of the event:
Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn, a Sinn Fein Councillor in Derry, Ireland, and former political prisoner expressed his support for Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli gaols who are currently on hunger strike in protest against oppressive measures imposed recently by the Israeli regime.
Speaking today Councillor MacLochlainn said
“I am very concerned to hear that Palestinian prisoners are having to hunger strike to obtain what should be basic humane treatment in the modern world. But sadly the Israeli regime does not believe that normal civilised standards apply to them.
“The Zionist regime should learn the lessons of history before it is too late. Just 30 years ago this month Margaret Thatcher thought she had defeated Irish political prisoners when she forced them onto a hunger strike in which 10 young men died.
“But the reality of British rule in Ireland was exposed to the world by the courage and sacrifice of these young men and today our prisoners are all free, many of them are taking their places in government and British rule is being dismantled in Ireland.
“We remember the horror of those days when our prisoners were dying slow and painful deaths. We remember, in particular, those who stood with us and foremost among them were the mothers of Palestinian prisoners. They reached into our cells then and we reach into your cells now. You have our support, we will tell your story, we will expose the realities of the Zionist regime and one day we will walk with you through the free streets of a free Palestine.
Victory to the Palestinian hunger strikers!
Justice and freedom for the people of Palestine!”