Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Eric Cantona calls for release of Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak

Mahmoud Sarsak, 25, is a Palestinian national team player. He has been imprisoned by the Israeli government for three years without any trial. In desparation, and to protest against his condition and lack of civil liberties, Sarsak is on a hunger strike. The 25-year old footballer has not eaten for 85 days and has lost approximately thirty kilos in weight. According to human rights organisation Addameer the situation of Mahmoud is critical.

On 22 July 2009 Sarsak - who lives in Rafah in the Gaza Strip - was arrested at a checkpoint when he was on his way to the West Bank for a match with his national team. He was interrogated for thirty days and then imprisoned without any trial or a precise legal charge. Family and friends are not allowed to visit him. They do not know why he is being detained for already nearly three years - no charge, no trial.

According to the Israeli government he is an illegal combatant and therefore they can imprison him indefinitely. Israeli jails house around 4,000 Palestinian political prisoners, more than 300 of them "administrative detainees" held without charge or trial.In desperation. Sarsak, and all victims of abuse by the Israeli state, need our support.

This urgent campaign to release Mahmoud Sarsak is being supported by:

Eric Cantona
Noam Chomsky, Professor MIT, USA
John Dugard, Former Special Rapporteur of UN on Palestine, South Africa
Trevor Griffiths, Writer, UK
Paul Laverty, Screenwriter, UK
Ken Loach, Filmmaker, UK
Miriam Margolyes OBE, Actor, UK
John Pilger, Journalist, author, film maker, Australia
Show Racism the Red Card
Ahdaf Soueif, Writer, UK

Video: interview with the family of Mahmoud Al Sarsak, Palestinian National Soccer player on hunger strike

On July, 22, 2009, Palestinian National Team soccer player, Mahmoud Al Sarsak, bid farewell to his family as he had finally obtained an Israeli permit allowing him to cross Erez checkpoint in the north of Gaza and enter the West Bank. The 22-year-old player, at the time, was heading to Balata Refugee Camp to join the Palestinian National Soccer Team and to train there. The overwhelming happiness that overcame the young Palestinian athlete as he was issued the permit, describes his mother Khaldiya Shalabi, has turned into a curse of misery for him and his family.

FIFA chief Blatter urges Israel soccer body to help jailed Palestine player on hunger strike

ZURICH — FIFA President Sepp Blatter has called on Israel soccer leaders to “urgently” help a Palestine player on hunger strike in Israeli custody.

Blatter has written to the Israel Football Association of his “grave concern” after receiving reports that “several Palestine football players have allegedly been illegally detained.”

Blatter asks IFA President Avi Luzon to intervene with Israeli authorities with “utmost urgency” because of the “alarming situation” facing Mahmoud Sarsak.

Sarsak is reported to have been on hunger strike for almost three months.

Palestine officials and global players’ union FIFPro says Sarsak has been held without trial since 2009. more

140 Africans detained in Israel ahead of mass deportations

TEL AVIV, Israel (Reuters) -- African migrants chosen for deportation from Israel were nervously awaiting a knock on the door or a tap on the shoulder on Tuesday as immigration officials rounded up hundreds for departure flights due to begin at the weekend.

"The people are very tense. It's pretty traumatic," said Jacob Berri, a spokesman for the South Sudanese community of migrants, the first to be repatriated under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan.

"There are children here who only speak Hebrew. They won't even know the language where they're going," Berri said.

Africans were being stopped on the street and issued deportation orders, he added. "About 100 more have been arrested this morning."

Many of the migrants have been working in hotels and restaurants, while others have been holding down manual jobs or working as contracted day labor. All of them were technically working illegally. more

Solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners - join Twitter action today against G4S

(pic: Matthew Aslett docphot.wordpress.com)

British-Danish security company G4S (@G4S_UK) is running a "Twitter debate" today (12/6), 2-3 pm BST. G4S provides equipment to Israeli prisons and maintains a presence in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. G4S is thus complicit with Israel's human rights abuses against Palestinians and violations of international law.

Following the large demonstration outside the G4S shareholders meeting, this is an opportunity to send a strong message to G4S that its actions are under scrutiny and that we demand an immediate cessation of its activities in Israel with risk of escalating our BDS campaign against the company.

Here are some suggested tweets using the hashtag #policingdebate:

G4S (@G4S_UK) helps Israel violate international law by securing its illegal settlement enterprise http://tiny.cc/tperfw #policingdebate #stopg4s #bds

G4S (@G4S_UK) makes huge profits on the back of Palestinian suffering, boycott G4S http://tiny.cc/tperfw #policingdebate #stopg4s #bds

G4S (@G4S_UK) is helping sustain Israeli apartheid, a crime against humanity, end the complicity now! http://tiny.cc/tperfw #policingdebate #stopg4s #bds

G4S (@G4S_UK) profitting from Israeli prison system while Mahmoud Sarsak remains on hunger strike http://tiny.cc/tperfw #policingdebate #SaveFootballerSarsak

And some non-Palestine related ones:

Jimmy Mubenga died after being 'restrained' on a UK deportation flight by G4S (@G4S_UK) guards http://tiny.cc/tperfw #policingdebate

770 complaints were made about G4S (@G4S_UK) when they were running UK migration detention centres #policingdebate

G4S (@G4S_UK) exploits UK prisoners by hiring them on poverty and taking the profits #policingdebate