[Boycott - Media Bias]
Tweets Projected on to BBC #TellTheBBC demanding fair reporting on Palestinian hunger strike - Freedom to Palestinian journalist Mohammed Al-Qiq
25 April 2017
Real news on the BBC for once
On the evening of 20th May 2017, on the thirty fourth day of the hunger strike of over 1500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli occupation dungeons, Inminds human rights group carried out a guerilla projection on BBC Broadcasting House, the global headquarters of the BBC, to demand the BBC end its reporting blackout and report impartially on the hunger strike.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "The BBC has given scant coverage to this, and every, Palestinian hunger strike. Especially avoiding any mention of what are very basic demands of the hunger strikers which Israel as a signatory to the Geneva Conventions should already be providing. In this way the BBC shields Israel from criticism for its gross abuses of human rights of Palestinian political prisoners, many of whom are just children.
"The British public through its TV licence pay the salaries of the BBC, not the Israel government. We are here to tell the BBC that its unacceptable that they serve Tel Avivs agenda rather than report the news."
Tweets Projected On To BBC #TellTheBBC
Demanding Fair Reporting On Palestinian Hunger Strike
Freedom For Palestinian Journalist Mohammed Al-Qiq
Inminds Projection, BBC Broadcasting House, London, 20th May 2017
In particular the case of Palestinian Journalist Mohammed Al-Qiq was raised.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "Israel didn't like Mohammed Al-Qiq's critical reporting of the occupation so they abducted him and tortured him for 25 days. Amnesty International documented the torture, Mohammed was tied in a contorted banana stress position to a chair for up to 15 hours at a time and threatened with sexual violence by his interrogators. When he didn't break, they raided his home and subjected his wife to strip search and ordered her to interrogation. When they still couldn't come up with any credible charge against him, they just locked him up without any charge, indefinitely on a rolling administrative detention order.
To protest his illegal imprisonment Mohammed Al-Qiq went on hunger strike. His first hunger striker was last year when he won his freedom after 94 days without food. During his hunger strike, as his health became critical he was moved to HaEmek Hospital in Israel, there, according to Amnesty International, he was further tortured to try and force him to break his hunger strike. The BBC kept silent as Mohammed endured torture and hunger for his journalism.
In January 2017 Mohammed was once again abducted and caged without any charge or trial. Today is on his third hunger strike in 18 months and the BBC is once again silent in Israel's service."
A message from his wife Fayha Shalash, especially written for this action, was projected on the walls of the BBC. It read:
"I'm Fayha Shalash , the wife of the journalist Mohammed Al-Qiq. It’s with a very weary and heavy heart that I write to you regarding my husband, a Palestinian journalist who is languishing in Israeli jails.
Just two weeks after the World Press Freedom Day, a day in which every journalist in the world celebrates his democratic rights in freedom of speech and working unhindered by any obstacles, the Israeli occupation forces, once again, arrest my husband.
This is the second year in a row, wherein Mohammed “celebrates” his Press Freedom Day: detained inside an Israeli jail, the worst possible place in the world; a place that tries to kill all hopes and dreams of living in dignity.
Our two children, Islam, five years old, and Lour, two and a half years old, have no choice but to go through living this nightmare, whilst dreaming of waking up in their father’s arms.
This is the third time that Mohammed joins a hunger strike in just one year and a half; despite his physical condition and his weakness he decided to go through with this strike because what he is seeking is what every person under the sun ought to have: a life of dignity and freedom.
Free my husband, free all Palestinian political prisoners."
Inminds chair Abbas Ali added "whilst we were preparing for the projection we received news that Mohammed Al-Qiq's condition has dramatically worsened, his body not having had time to recover from 2 previous hunger strikes. He along with 50 other critical prisoners have been bundled to the Negev desert, to Nafha prison, where out of sight, Israeli military field hospitals have been set to to force feed hunger strikers on mass.
The World Medical Association has made it clear that force-feeding of hunger-strikers is 'tantamount to torture'. In the past, five Palestinian prisoners have been killed through being force-fed. Israeli media has reported that to protect its doctors from prosecution for war crimes at the ICC Israel is shipping in mercenary doctors from India to force-feed the hunger strikers. "
MESSAGES FROM THE PUBLIC #TellTheBBC
Messages from the public were also projected on the walls of the BBC.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali explained "We wanted to open up the projection to the public, for them to participate, so a few days before the projection we asked if people had any messages they wanted us to deliver to the BBC, to tweet them to us.
We were overwhelmed by the response. We got messages for the BBC from as far a field as Nigeria and of course many from Palestine. A representative sample of the messages were projected onto BBC Broadcasting House.
Despite the thousands of miles that separate the authors of the different messages its remarkable that all the messages pointed to the bias in the BBC coverage of Palestine.
The days when people trusted the BBC to report impartially are long gone, what is left is an embarrassing propaganda outlet which no one believes any more."
DEMANDS OF THE HUNGER STRIKERS
Why is the BBC silent?
Why is the BBC silent?
The hunger strikers are demanding basic human rights which Israel as a signatory to the Geneva Conventions should already be providing.
1 Family Visits
Allow family members 2 visits per month as was the case before the Red Cross in collaboration with the occupation suspended the second monthly visit.
Allow children to hug their imprisoned mothers during visits, at present they have a barrier between them.
Allow families to take a photo of their imprisoned loved one, once every 3 months.
Many prisoners have been denied any family visits under the pretext of security, for example wheel-chair bound sick prisoner Mansour Moqtada has been denied family visits from his son for 3 years and hasn't been able to see his elderly mother, who is over 70 years old, for over two years. Moqtada has colostomy and a catheter and is in frequent pain; he is one of the most seriously ill prisoners in Israeli jails and is permanently held at the Ramleh prison clinic - no security threat to anyone.
The right of prisoners to receive family visits is enshrined in the Fourth Geneva Convention.
2 Public Telephones
Install public telephones in prisons so prisoners can speak with their families.
Many prisoners are totally cut off from their families by the severe restrictions Israel imposes on family visits. One of the hunger strikers Karim Yunis explained "I have been in jail for 35 years, and I don't know my relatives at all because they are denied visits for so-called security reasons."
3 Medical Care
Demand for proper health care for sick prisoners. Existing prison clinic at Ramla is described by patients as a “slaughter house with jailers wearing doctor's uniforms” Prisoners not to be charged for medical care.
The Third Geneva Convention mandates Israel to provide medical treatment and care to prisoners as required. Just last week a Palestinian human rights activist, imprisoned for planting olive trees on Palestinian land, was denied his diabetes medicine and then told if he paid then he could receive it.. in the end they still withheld it.
Demand for humanitarian transport. At present prisoners are shackled in an iron box in the transportation vehicle for up to 21 hours often without bathroom visits or food for a short journey of a few miles to court. With endless rescheduling of hearing prisoners may have to endure these journeys every 2 weeks for years. Also sick patients suffer the fate, instead of using ambulances, they are shackled into the iron box.
One woman prisoner, Dunia Waked, explained that "the journey can begin at 1 a.m. and end at 10 p.m. and during this harsh journey you are subject to ongoing harassment." Israeli criminal prisoners are let loose on Palestinian political prisoners during the transport.
5 Administrative Detention
End Israel's policy of imprisonment without charge, without trial, for indefinite period.. month after month.. year after year..
For example administrative detainee Mazen Natsheh has been locked up cumulatively for nearly 10 years without charge or trial. Detention orders can be based on so called "secret information" which never needs to be produced, either to the detainee nor their lawyer, but often Administrative Detention is used to arbitrarily jail Palestinians where there is no evidence for a trial, or as punishment. Israel has on average issued over 2000 detention orders every year. Today over 500 Palestinians are held under Administrative Detention orders. The UN has denounced Israel's use of Administrative Detention where by Palestinians are caged indefinitely, without charge, on the whim of the Israeli military.
6 Solitary Confinement
End the caging of prisoners, often children, in solitary confinement, in filthy 1m x 3m hole in the ground cells 3 floors below the surface..
Israel uses three types of solitary confinement –
1) Punishment. Prisoners, like the hunger strikers, are placed in solitary confinement as punishment.
2) Interrogation. In between interrogation sessions, young children are caged in solitary confinement for up to 2 months in order to break them to sign coerced confessions, usually to stone throwing.
3) Long term. Some prisoners are caged in solitary confinement for years without end. These prisoners Israel has targeted for their activism and wants to keep separate from the other prisoners. Israel newspaper Haaretz reported in May 2012 that Palestinian prisoner Mahmoud Issa has been held in solitary confinement for 10 years, receiving only one 30 minute family visit. His request for a visit from his 75-year-old mother was denied - Judge Yonatan Avraham ruled it was a security risk for the state of Israel. The UN Committee Against Torture has condemned Israel’s use of prolonged solitary confinement. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture Juan E. Méndez has said “indefinite and prolonged solitary confinement in excess of 15 days should be subject to an absolute prohibition.”
Restore kitchens under Palestinian detainees supervision so they aren't poisoned.
The kitchens in most prisons in Israel where Palestinian political prisoners are caged are run by Israeli criminal prisoners. According to testimony from Nafha prison, Israeli criminal prisoners routinely urinate and spit in food prepared for Palestinian prisoners. Witnesses have also seen them stirring the soup for Palestinian prisoners with a broom that they previously used to clean the floor.
Allow prisoners to receive clothes, food and books from their families.
Israel has turned prisons in to money making enterprises with prisoners essentially forced to pay for their own imprisonment. Israel deliberately fails to provide Palestinian prisoners the basic essentials like edible food, cloths (underwear, shoes..) and hygiene products (soap, toothbrush..), and doesn't allow families to bring these during visits, forcing prisoners to buy them at the extortionately priced prison shop. One family of a child prisoner testified that it costs them €125/month to provide for their child’s very basic needs in prison.
Inminds Palestinian Prisoners Campaign
Photos published 'live' on twitter and facebook from the protest:
Also Of Interest
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