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South Africa's PSC protests against Administrative Detention - Inminds sends message of solidarity

25 September 2016

South Africa's Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, lead by Ronnie Kasrils, boldly protested against Israel's illegal policy of Administrative Detention outside the Israeli Trade Mission in Santon, near Johannesburg on 23rd Sept 2016. Inminds message of solidarity was read out at the protest.

Inminds message of solidarity

Inminds message read:

We send a strong message of solidarity from Inminds Palestinian Prisoners Campaign here in London to the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign in South Africa for this crucial campaign against Administrative Detention whereby Palestinians, including children, are arbitrarily abducted from their homes and caged indefinitely on rolling 6 month detention orders without any charge or trial.

Since 2000 the Israeli military occupation has issued over 26,000 administrative detention orders against Palestinians. Palestinian prisoners have described Administrative Detention as "mental slaughter" as there is no charge so no way for them to defend themselves; and there is no indication of how long they will be imprisoned, as they complete one 6 month detention order and get ready to leave the prison with their family waiting at the gates, another 6 month detention order may be issued - some prisoners have been on rolling administrative detention orders on and off for 11 years! And the children have not been spared.. 15 years old Hamza Hammad's 6 month detention order was renewed in June with no charge or trial. According to the Israeli prison service's own figures 13 Palestinian children are currently caged without charge or trial under administrative detention.

Israel perpetrates these crimes against Palestinian prisoners with total impunity, with an essentially silent international community. This is why its so important for us in London and for you in South Africa, and for activists across the world, to show our solidarity and be the voice of those silenced prisoners. We salute your protest!

Freedom for the 750 administrative detainees!
Freedom for the 7500 Palestinian political prisoners!
Freedom for Palestine!

Abbas Ali
Inminds Palestinian Prisoners Campaign


PSC Chair Ronnie Kasrils

Photos, reporting courtesy South Africa's Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

A significant and vibrant turnout at todays solidarity event for Administrative Detainees and other Palestinian Political detainees- held outside the Israeli Trade Mission offices. Messages of support from ex political detainees were read out, in addition to endorsements from international solidarity movements as well as local ones including the South African Jews for a Free Palestine. PSC Chair Ronnie Kasrils delivered a powerful exhortation to Government to end ties with Israel . Other equally rousing talks by the Principled Profs' Salim Vally and Patrick Bond (the latter on the evils of corporate profiteering and the role BDS must play), Allan Horwitz, Arianna and Mandy and other young folk celebrating the spirit of Palestinians - through poetry and insights - all chorused by the hooting of passing traffic , will ensure that these events must continue....

Messages of solidarity from ex-political prisoners from all the former South African liberation movements

Fridays picket against Administrative Detention, the detention of children and solidarity with hunger strikers - which also served to highlight the recent arrest of activists and leaders from the Balad party, has been endorsed by a number of ex-political prisoners from all the former South African liberation movements including:

Ahmed Kathrada,
Sibongile Mkhabela,
Denis Goldberg,
Tiyani Lybon Mabasa,
Zithulele Cindi,
Premesh Lalu,
Selby Nomnganga,
Lentswe Mokgatle,
Raymond Suttner,
Mercia Andrews,
Sadecque Variava,
Trevor Ngwane,
Hanif Vally,
Edwin Arrison,
Sue Rabkin,
Abdulhay Jassat,
Derrick Naidoo,
Stephanie Kemp,
Firdoze Bulbulia,
Gavin Andersson,
Herby Pillay,
Mohammed Timol,
and many more.

Messages of Solidarity:

Ahmed Kathrada

As a South African former political prisoner I express my support for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners and an immediate end to Israel's use of administrative detention and the detention of children:

340 – this is the number of Palestinian children, who according to human rights group, Addameer, are incarcerated in Israeli prisons today.

It is a shocking reminder of the brutality of the Israeli occupation. This brutality is every so often reinforced with images that surface of Israeli soldiers violently arresting children or leading them handcuffed into courts.

It remains a blight on the consciousness of humanity that Israel is allowed to use imprisonment as a means to continue its occupation of Palestine.

Several years ago, I visited the Middle East for a conference on Palestinian political prisoners. One cannot but compare Palestine’s situation to that of apartheid South Africa. I was shocked to find that in some ways, Israel’s colonial, racist policies, far supersedes the oppression of even the apartheid regime.

I was under the impression that Mandela’s 27 years in jail was one of the longest political sentences. In Palestine, I found that there were prisoners who had served over 30 years in Israeli jails.

No person from Palestinian society is exempt from being incarcerated. Some 10 000 women have been in Israeli jails over the last 45 years.

Recently, I came across the example of Dima al Wawi – a 12 year old girl that was jailed by Israel. It reminded me of South African child prisoners, particularly the young Gandhian protester, Valliamma Munuswami, who was detained and died shortly thereafter.

The similarities between South Africa’s detention without trial and administrative detention for Palestinians is marked. This system is used simply to crush the will of the Palestinian people. And, while hunger strikes are common in many prisons, it is really Palestinian detainees, who have gone on hunger strikes for lengthy periods, who have brought attention to the injustice of administrative detention.

It is also alarming that Palestinian members of parliament face arrest. In 2013, myself and Fadwa Barghouthi, launched the campaign for the freedom of her husband, Marwan Barghouthi. Marwan, known as the ‘Palestinian Mandela’, was the first member of parliament to be arrested.

Israel continues using imprisonment as a tool to subjugate the Palestinian people, but very much like South Africans, the Palestinians will not give up. Since 1967, some 800 000 Palestinians have been detained, yet the Palestinians remain resilient. The campaign for the freedom of Marwan and all Palestinian political prisoners has taken off globally. Campaigns, such as the march that is taking place today, continues putting pressure on Israel to end to the occupation, and the international community to stop ignoring Israel’s violation of human rights.

I can only refer to our own situation on Robben Island. At the bleakest of moments, from the solitude of one’s cell, one remains confident of freedom. This is my message to the occupied and the occupier, the jailed and the jailer: No Israeli jail will ever be able to imprison the dream of Palestinian freedom. Freedom is inevitable, it is just a matter of time.

Denis Goldberg

Rivonia Trial No 3 Accused who served 22 years of 4 life sentences

By maintaining the racial and religious discriminatory laws against Palestinian citizens of your state, and maintaining your brutal illegal occupation of Palestinian territory you are defying international law against the apartheid crime against humanity. Your state violates every aspect of humanitarian rights and imposes harsh prison sentences on a people who want no more than to be free to form their own state in terms of United Nations resolutions. Then you impose arbitrary administrative detention orders on those whom you had imprisoned. At every step you compound your state’s crimes against humanity.

I call on you to release my comrades from prison whether sentenced in your civil or military courts or in administrative detention so that really serious negotiations can start to end the daily crimes against humanity of these actions that begin with the ongoing theft of land, water, livelihood and human dignity. That must be the first step to enable the possibility of an end to the perpetual cycle of violence.

Sibongile Mkhabela

As someone who spent time in several apartheid jails and a year in solitary confinement under the notorious Section 6 of the Terrorism Act and as someone opposed to the imprisonment of children anywhere in the world, I fully support the campaign! I stand in solidarity with those fighting for social justice any parts of the world!

Zithulele Cindi

As a former political prisoner. I express my support for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners and an immediate end to Israel's use of administrative detention and the detention of children.

Lentswe Mokgatle

As a South African former political prisoner. I express my support for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners and an immediate end to Israel's use of administrative detention and the detention of children. Adv. Lentswe Mokgatle.

Premesh Lalu

As an ex-detainee at Victor Verster prison, I express my solidarity.

Sadecque Variava

As a political prisoner and B.C. activist I pledge my support .

Dehran Swart

As an ex-detainee (Victor Verster, June 1986 - June 1987) I fully support the above statement for the release of the Palestinian political prisoners and the end of administrative detention including the detention of children.

Tiyani Lybon Mabasa

You are guaranteed of my unwavering support for the call for the release of all Palestinian prisoners in Zionist Apartheid jails. I speak as a former SA political prisoner.

Extracts from a message by Derrick Naidoo who was on a 41 day hunger strike in Cape Town whilst charged under Section Six of the Terrorism Act in the 80s: The courage and commitment of Palestinian liberation fighter’s ongoing resistance against all odds... is indeed an inspiration and a lesson in struggle for all revolutionaries and freedom fighters worldwide.

Revolutionaries like Bobby Sands (66 day hunger strike) have demonstrated that even under the most hopeless situations of imprisonment, the last option to resist and win is usually the hunger strike. The hunger strike by imprisoned Palestinians today brings back vivid memories of my own personal experience (41days) of this under Section Six of the Terrorism Act in South Africa.
Continuous interrogation, solitary confinement and an accumulation of human rights abuses make the necessary ingredients for prisoners to choose a dangerous path of resistance. A choice to inflict personal damage on themselves as a political statement, sometimes a last stand for justice. Whilst the international community supports the Tokyo Declaration, a very limited agreement related to the hunger strike, more is required. We need collective action from all of us not only to expose inhuman treatment of prisoners but to support the just liberation struggles internationally.

Shiraz Ismail Bulbulia

As a former detainee at John Vorster Square and Krugersdorp I am in solidarity.

Gavin M Andersson

As a former political detainee i am fully and unconditionally in support of the release of all Palestinian political prisoners. Dr Gavin Andersson.

Selby Nomnganga

Several times one was detained for standing up for human rights of self and of others. I support the campaign for the release of political prisoners in Palestine.

Hanif Vally

Having personally witnessed the rancid racist colonialism imposed on Palestinians: 'We want your land and we are going to take it because you are lesser beings and we have superior weapons”. I see killing and detaining children is a symptom of this mentality. We, the millions who believe in humanity and who have known or condemned such cruelty should continue to hold the Israeli government and its supporters accountable. Detained at Modder Bee and other prisons in the 70s and 80s.

Samidoun's message of solidarity

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its strongest support and solidarity to the demonstration taking place in Johannesburg in support of Palestinian political prisoners. Coming from a country and a movement with a lengthy and deep history of struggle against political imprisonment and for liberation, this protest is especially meaningful. We are especially grateful for the support of so many longtime strugglers against political imprisonment under the apartheid regime, including of many ex-political prisoners, for the Palestinian prisoners today struggling for freedom from occupation, oppression and settler colonialism. We extend our salutes to all of these veteran strugglers for justice and liberation, who continue their struggle to this day.

Today marks the end of imprisonment for Palestinian hunger striker and journalism student Malik al-Qadi, who concluded his strike yesterday in an agreement that sees him released at the end of his 4-month administrative detention period, a period that expires today. Two fellow prisoners, Mahmoud al-Balboul and Mohammed al-Balboul, also ended their strikes and will be released on 8 December. During this time, the three strikers have lost significant body weight, faced loss of vision, unconsciousness and other severe health crises. Yet they persisted in their strike with deep courage, steadfastness and strength, knowing that they represent not only themselves but thousands of Palestinians struggling behind bars for liberation and justice.

They are three of nearly 750 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention, and over 7,000 total Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. Since 1948, over a million Palestinians have been imprisoned by the Israeli occupation state. These prisoners come from all areas of Palestinian life: teachers, workers, political leaders, students, organizers and freedom fighters. Every Palestinian family has been touched by imprisonment, and political imprisonment is used against all sectors of the Palestinian people in their entirety - refugees, Palestinians from the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, Palestinians from '48 Palestine (who hold Israeli citizenship.)

Political imprisonment targets the national leaders of the Palestinian people. It is a colonial weapon used since the days of British colonialism - for nearly 100 years - in an attempt to undermine and suppress the Palestinian people's liberation movement by isolating and abducting the leadership of that movement, from local leaders to national leaders. From the imprisonment of PFLP General Secretary Ahmad Sa'adat and Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi to the attacks in recent days on Palestinian political leaders in '48 Palestine, the Palestinian prisoners are leaders not only of the prisoners' struggle but the entire national liberation movement.

Therefore, international solidarity with Palestinian prisoners - the voice of resistance and liberation - is particularly critical as the Israeli state attempts to seize, suppress and isolate those leading voices. On a daily basis, prisoners are facing oppression, torture under interrogation and isolation - and are confronting the occupation forces. We must do everything we can to break that attempt to impose isolation on these Palestinian and global leaders in the movement for justice.

To that end, building the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel is building the movement for Palestinian freedom. It is critical to fully isolate Israel, with international grassroots and official boycott, divestment and sanctions, and to demand the release of all Palestinian political prisoners as a critical demand of the Palestinian people. Together, we can stand with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian prisoners for justice, liberation and freedom for all.

Messages of Endorsement from South African Organisations

Ahmed Timol Family Trust

Solidarity message for Bilal Kayed and other Palestinian administrative detainees.

The Ahmed Timol Family Trust wishes to express its solidarity with the Palestinian Solidarity Committee (PSC) in the campaign for the release of all political prisoners jailed by the Apartheid-Israeli state.

In particular we call for the unconditional and immediate release of Bilal Kayed and all administrative detainees languishing in Apartheid Israel's jails.

Ahmed Timol was a true internationalist who was a soldier in the South African cause for a free and non-racial South Africa. He was arrested and brutally murdered 45 years ago by the fascist Apartheid regime, and had he been alive today, he would have been an active supporter in the front line of the cause of the people of Palestine in their struggle against the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the fight against Israeli tyranny and Zionist domination.

The Ahmed Timol Family Trust further extends its revolutionary solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine in their continuing struggle for a free Palestine and demands the unconditional release of all political prisoners

Viva the spirit of Ahmed Timol!

Viva the Intifada against Israeli Occupation!

The Struggle Continues!



The Abu Asvat Institute for Nation Building fully supports the campaign by the PSC to demand the unconditional immediate release by the Israeli Government of all political prisoners with immediate effect. We also urge all fairminded citizens of all persuasions to join the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in this effort to ensure the human rights of Palestinians is respected and underpinned as dictated by international law. The Israeli Government must be pressurised to adhere to the demands from the international community and we stand in solidarity with this effort.

Fraternal Regards,

Alli Osmany

Media – Spokesperson


Photos, reporting courtesy South Africa's Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

Source: www.inminds.com

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