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World

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Vive le pouvoir des peuples ! Vive la liberté !

by Salah Hamouri

Echos of the Arab revolutions in Israeli jails: Power to the people! Long live freedom!

Translated Sunday 6 March 2011, by Rebecca Watson and reviewed by Rebecca Watson

By Salah Hamouri, February 20, 2011, from Gilboa prison in Israel

From the prison’s cells, voices can be heard that talk sometimes indignantly of human rights… These politicians, these governments that claim to defend human rights and to administer justice, do they know what’s happening in the prisons of the Israeli occupation? Do they know that more than 8,000 prisoners are victims of a slow death?

Sometimes voices might rise up during summit meetings, someone might mention Palestinian political prisoners, but we’re spoken about as terrorists, numbers without faces, when all the while, like all human beings, we are sometimes weak, sometimes strong, we love and we hate, we laugh, we even have moments of joy, and we cry, too, when we think about our families.

To express our suffering, I would have to write 10 books, but even an encyclopaedia wouldn’t move your consciences, if you still have one after Uncle Sam’s race for petrodollars, the same Uncle Sam who now occupies Iraq under the pretence of democracy.

You support justice and human rights in certain areas of the world, but here you support and legitimise the occupation, and for this we pay the price in our cells.

Have you every considered the Palestinian woman giving birth in prison, her feet and hands bound together?

Have you ever seen a child of 12 handcuffed to a check-point and left for hours in the sun or in the rain at the whim of a single soldier?

Do you know that a large number of my comrades have already spent more than 20 years behind bars? Many have lost their parents without being able to say goodbye to them…

Western governments must reassess their positions regarding the Middle East before it’s too late.

For some time the revolutions of the Arab people have been putting an end to the dictatorships which have most often served your interests rather than defending their own people.

Up with the Arab revolutions! Power to the people! Long live freedom!


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