Activists in Amman join counterparts in Gaza, Cairo to voice solidarity with prisoners in Israel | Jordan News | Ammon News

Activists in Amman join counterparts in Gaza, Cairo to voice solidarity with prisoners in Israel

[5/12/2012 12:00:00 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Ghalib Barghouthi, an engineer whose son Abdullah is serving 67 life sentences in an Israeli prison, on Thursday said he had not seen his son in 15 years.

“The Israeli authorities do not allow us to visit him,” Ghalib told The Jordan Times during a demonstration held by members of the Jordan Engineers Association to express solidarity with Jordanian and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who are on hunger strike.

He indicated that his son was arrested because he joined his fellow Palestinians to fight Israelis when the second Intifada broke out in 2000.

“We went to Palestine to visit our relatives. When the Intifada broke out, he decided to join Palestinians and fight the enemy,” he recalled, adding that his son was arrested at the age of 27.

Ghalib claimed that his son, who began a hunger strike on April 12, and other inmates are being subjected to several forms of torture.

“Israelis move him from one prison to another. They do not allow his relatives to visit him,” he added.

The father noted that Abdullah’s lawyers were keeping the family posted on his son’s situation and medical condition.

“They told me that he is fine. I hope so,” he said.

Ghalib also said he had received many promises from the Foreign Ministry to let him see his son but had not seen any tangible results.

“I also turned to Parliament and they have not helped me,” he added.

Dozens of engineers gathered outside the Professional Associations Complex in Shmeisani on Thursday to urge the government to act on the plight of prisoners in Israeli jails.

Nearly 1,600 Palestinian prisoners are currently refusing food in a wide-ranging protest against solitary confinement, detention without charge and restrictions on family visits, education and other privileges, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

The strike has drawn international attention, with the European Union and United Nations expressing concern. Two of those protesting, Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla, marked their 72nd day without food on Thursday, according to AFP.

Organised by the Jordan Engineers Association’s freedom committee, the Amman event was held in coordination with Egypt’s and Gaza’s engineers associations, which also organised demonstrations in their countries on Thursday, according to the head of the committee, Theib Ghanma.

Sari Zuaiter, one of the demonstrators, said that all Arabs should support the prisoners because they are sacrificing their health for the sake of noble principles and the Arab world’s interests.

Maisara Malass, another engineer who took part in the demonstration, said that the government should support and protect Jordanian prisoners.

“There are Jordanian prisoners in Israeli jails and the government has not acted to help them,” he told The Jordan Times during the demonstration.

He also called on international organisations to support these prisoners.

“Prisoners are human beings and they have relatives who have not seen them for a long time. These organisations should act,” Malass stressed.

He also indicated that these prisoners face abject conditions in Israeli jails.

“Some of them have not received food or medical care for a long time,” he added.

Ibrahim Ghosheh agreed, suggesting that Palestinians should capture Israelis so that these prisoners gain their freedom.

“When the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was captured, Palestinians released him in exchange for many prisoners,” he said, referring to a deal struck between Israel and Hamas last October to exchange Shalit for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Sabah Al Rafie said that the ministry was working to arrange for Jordanian families to visit their relatives in Israeli jails.

“Chargé d’Affaires Deifallah Fayez at the Jordanian embassy in Tel Aviv visited three Jordanian detainees in Israeli jails to check on them and followed up on their cases,” she told The Jordan Times over the phone.

On Wednesday, Fayez visited Anas Hintawi, Munir Qasem and Ali Nazzal in line with the embassy’s efforts to check on the health conditions of prisoners who are on hunger strike and to refer their demands to the concerned Israeli authorities.

* Jordan Times

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