Palestinian political prisoners represented in Paris
October 24, 2008   By:    Palestine, Palestinian Detainee   Comments are off   //   663 Views

ImageBethlehem / Najib Farrag – An official delegation returned after a week of French events in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners.

The delegation included several West Bank heavy hitters on the prisoners’ rights scene. Greeting them in Paris was the French Foreign Ministry and Dr. Hind Khoury, former Jerusalem Affairs Minister and Bethlehem resident whose home was swallowed behind the Wall before she relocated. She is the current Ambassador of Palestine in France.

Former Director of the Palestinian Prisoner Society, Bethlehem resident and current Legislative Council member in charge of the prisoners issue Issa Qaraqa’, PPS West Bank Director Qaddura Faris, head of the PPS in Nablus Ra’ed Amer, and PLC member and Nablus Governor Mahmoud Aloul, were among the delegates.

The Palestine Embassy to France organized several activities advocating for political prisoners.

PLC deputy Qaraqa’ explained the deteriorating conditions of the 11,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons which include several hundred children. “Israeli practices violate the norms and conventions of the international community and international law. Israel continues a campaign of widespread arrests of Palestinians without any legal basis. There are war crimes being committed before the eyes of the world without intervention or holding Israel accountable,” Qaraqa’ said.

He continued to tell the French officials, “The Government of Israel is systematically stripping the issue of Palestinian prisoners away from negotiations and trying to keep the issues of prisoners out of view of authorities and international humanitarian conventions and covenants.”

Qaddura Faris asked that the European Union play a larger role. “The EU could be indispensible in seeking the release of detainees, especially the elderly, elected officials, women, children, and the ill. Israel is deceiving the world by making periodic highly publicized releases while arresting dozens more at the same time.”

The Palestinian delegation also participated in a program organized by the Palestine Foundation Europe with several film screenings documenting the reality faced by political prisoners. Qaraqa’, Faris, Aloul and Amer provided a detailed description of the suffering of Palestinians in the prisons and that of their families. The delegation went on to meet with the Arab Journalists Society requesting greater coverage in the press of the “arbitrary and inhuman Israeli practices in the prisons.”

Aloul voiced appreciation for French efforts in the “heart of Paris,” to stand with political prisoners and support not only them but all Palestinians “striving for justice.”

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