The European Alliance in Defense of Palestinian Detainees announced the conclusion of the works carried out by the Second European Conference in Support of Palestinian Prisoners, which took place in Berlin on May 30 and 31, 2015. The Conference was carried out simultaneously with the commemoration of the 67th anniversary of the Palestinian Al-Nakba and with the slogan “Together for the Internationalization of the Cause of the Brave Prisoners,” with the collaboration of the Embassy of the State of Palestine in Germany and the Secretariat for the Coordination of the Conference, and with the support of the PLO Department of Matters Related to Expatriates, the Committee for the Affairs of Prisoners and of Those Having Been Liberated, and the organization “Society of Palestinian Prisoners.”
The Conference counted on the presence of a large number of Parliament and Legal personalities, representatives of political parties, labor unions and European as well as international institutions –headed by the lawyer and activist Felicia Langer— in solidarity with the just cause of prisoners and the rights of our people; and important delegations from Brazil, Venezuela, the USA, Cuba, Germany, Spain, Vasque Country, Greece, Bulgaria, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Rumania, Poland, Cyprus, Morocco, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
There was also an outstanding participation of the relatives of prisoners and martyrs, such as the parents of detainees Samer, Shirin and Medhat Al-Issawi, comrade Abla Sadaat, wife of the national leader Ahmad Sadaat, and Tariq, the son of martyr leader Ziad Abu Ain. Many organizations that support prisoners and those who have been liberated also took part, such as the Higher Committee for the Follow-Up of the Affairs of Prisoners and Those Who Have Been Liberated, the Abu Jehad Center for the Affairs of the Prisoners’ Movement, the Center for the Defense of Freedoms and Civil Rights, the “Adameer” Association, the Department of Refugee Matters, the Al-Haqq Organization, the Al-Riyadah Foundation for Social and Cultural Development, and a delegation from the Salfit Municipality headed by Dr. Shaher Shtiyyah.
In a positive environment, dialogue and constructive debate prevailed, with a view to enrich and extend the international campaign in support of Palestinian prisoners, and the internationalization of their cause, turning it into an issue of world public opinion and of all freedom-lovers, and to urge European and international governments to know and to acknowledge the demands and the rights of the brave prisoners to live with their families, in freedom and dignity, on their land. The conference also consecrated the growing support and international solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people to put an end to Israeli occupation and to implement the exercise of their national rights, in the first place their right to return, their right to self-determination and their right to have their own state with Jerusalem as its capital.
The Conference reviewed several recommendations and proposals having to do with the internationalization of the prisoners’ cause. These efforts are represented in the formation of several committees: a European-Palestinian Committee headed by Annette Groth, member of the German parliament (Bundestag), and Nadir Al-Saqqa, member of the Palestinian National Council; a Legal Committee headed by professor Norman Baech, with the lawyer Nadia Sammour as a coordinator to follow-up legal demands presented to the International Criminal Court and other national criminal courts in various countries, against the tyrannical Israeli practices against prisoners; a Medical Committee to follow-up the prisoners’ state of health in Israeli jails, to be coordinated by Dr. Ali Maaruf, of Germany; and another Committee to extend help and support to Palestinian Prisoners, that will be coordinated by Hamdan Al-Damiri, from Belgium.
The Conference studied at length the matters related to prisoners and the severe violations of the rights by the Israeli occupying government, and it approved several recommendations presented by participants, among which the following stand out:
1. To urge the countries signatories of the Four Geneva Conventions to force Israel, in its capacity as an occupying force, to implement those Conventions in the occupied Palestinian territories.
2. To refer the dossiers of Israeli war crimes against detainees to the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
3. To study the creation of a special court by the United Nations General Assembly by virtue of Article 12 of its Charter, in order to investigate the crimes and inhuman acts committed against detainees.
4. To request of the International Court of Justice a consultative opinion and a legal judgment to determine the legal situation of prisoners and detainees in the jails of the occupant force.
5. To organize activities to support the incarcerated who are sick, women, children and deputies, and to recover the remains of the martyrs buried in the Israeli numerical cemeteries. And to expand the scope of the international campaign to liberate prisoners, to abolish administrative detention and to liberate deputies of the Legislative Council who have been abducted into the jails of the Israeli occupant force.
6. The Conference confirmed the right of detainees to education, to work in the dissemination and registry of the intellectual and cultural production of prisoners, and to benefit from the exhibition “Candles of Freedom” of the Abu Jehad Center.
7. To coordinate with the delegations of participating countries at the Conference the organization of activities and campaigns of international solidarity with prisoners, and to prepare solidarity conferences with respect to prisoners, above all in the United States, in the countries of Latin America and in other countries.