Mothers of prisoners call for their release and condemn Johnston kidnapping

Palestinians hold pictures of their jailed relatives during a rally marking Palestinian Prisoners’ Day in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, 17 April 2007. At least 11,000 Palestinian prisoners are held in Israeli jails. (Haytham Othman/MaanImages)

On Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, the Mothers of Prisoners Call for Their Release and Condemn Kidnappings in the Name of Stopping Their Continuous Suffering

On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, 17 April 2007, we, the mothers and families of Palestinian and Arab prisoners detained in Israeli jails, continue to miss our beloved ones and hope that they will be immediately released.

It is we who each day miss our beloved ones, who have been cut off from their sons, daughters and relatives by Israeli Occupation Forces, and have been detained in jails that lack the minimum internationally acceptable detention standards.

As we reject the illegal detention and inhumane treatment of prisoners, we reject the claim by any group that they may commit criminal and un-national acts in the name of the Palestinian and Arab prisoners. The kidnapping of anybody, including BBC journalist Alan Johnston, is against the rights of the prisoners, it is against the love and the suffering of their mothers, it is against the whole of the Palestinian people.

As we call upon relevant local, regional and international parties to ensure the immediate release of our prisoners, we call on those who have kidnapped Alan to immediately release him. We call on them not to stoop to the level of the occupation by conducting these pernicious acts. We call on them not to violate the goodwill of the people of the world towards the well-known suffering of the Palestinian people, who have been under occupation for nearly 40 years.

Based on our heritage, morals and principles and the Palestinian proverb that says: “No one feel the pain, but those who are injured,” we, the mothers and families of prisoners understand the pain afflicted to the family of Alan Johnston, and as we call for the immediate release of our prisoners, we hope the same for our people’s friend Alan Johnston.

As the suffering of prisoners in Israeli jails continues, and conflicted statements and news appear in the media concerning an exchange of prisoners, we call on the Palestinian side to prioritize this issue and learn from mistakes of the past in negotiations on the issue of prisoners.

We also call upon the international community to pressure the Israeli government to comply with the human justice requirements and international humanitarian law, and release our prisoners.

We further stresses to the Israeli government that the continued detention and inhumane treatment of more than 10,000 prisoners do not serve the peace process, rather they deepen doubts concerning the possibility of achieving peace as long as prisoners are still detained in Israeli jails and they and their families continue to suffer.

Peace should bring liberation of man and land rather than enhance occupation and increase the suffering of people.

Freedom for the prisoners of liberation.

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