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Greens Support Palestinian Hunger Strike

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
http://www.gp.org

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Greens Express Support for Prisoners' Hunger Strike
See Promise in Non-Violent Efforts by Palestinians

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Greens hailed recent nonviolent actions by Palestinian peace activists in protest of the occupation by Israel, and expressed support for Palestinian political prisoners who began an open-ended hunger strike on August 15 in protest of prison conditions and violations of their rights as prisoners.

Prisoners recently modified their strike to taking liquids while negotiations proceed with Israeli authorities.

"We call on the Bush Administration to pressure the Sharon government to abide by its moral and legal obligations toward these prisoners under international law," said Mike Miles, Green candidate for Congress in Wisconsin's 7th District and participant in a recent support fast for the hunger stikers. Mr. Miles cited Israel's obligations as an occupying power according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 3rd and 4th Geneva Conventions.

The hunger strike coincides with a renewed nonviolent campaign against the occupation. A recent ruling of the International Court of Justice Ruling against Israel's 'separation fence' and by the participation of Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas K. Gandhi and head of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, have invigorated these efforts. Dr. Gandhi recently visited the occupied Palestinian territories at the invitation of Palestinian peace activists.

"Peaceful protest by Palestinian, Israeli, and international peace activists has routinely been met with violence by Israeli occupation forces," said Efia Nwangaza, Green candidate for U.S. Senate from South Carolina and Amnesty International activist . "But the only hope for an end to the occupation and establishment of peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians lies with efforts based on nonviolence, negotiation, mutual respect for equality, freedom, and rights, including the right of return for Palestinians."

Prisoner complaints have included unsanitary conditions; inadequate food; denial of family visits; harassment of visitors; strip searches in full view of others; denial of medical care; confinement of political prisoners with criminals and of children with adults and criminals; lengthy and indefinite solitary confinement; arbitrary harassment, beatings, torture; and collective punishment. The complaints been documented by Palestinian NGOs, Amnesty International, Israel’s B'tselem, and the U.N. High Commission for Human Rights ,

"The violations of Palestinian prisoners' rights recall the recent abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison by U.S. occupying forces in Iraq," said David Cobb, Green nominee for President. "Such abuses are the inevitable outcome of any occupation by an invader. If President Bush and John Kerry have any regard at all for human rights, they will act to bring both occupations and the abuses to a quick end."


MORE INFORMATION

The Green Party of the United States
http://www.gp.org

Public Committee Against Torture in Israel
http://www.stoptorture.org.il

U.N. Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of
the Palestinian People: statement of August 24, 2004
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2004/gapal964.doc.htm

Addameer Prisoners' Support and Human Rights Association
http://www.addameer.org

Committee of Families of Palestinian Political Prisoners and Detainees
http://www.palsolidarity.org

Palestinian Right of Return Coalition
http://www.al-awda.org

Palestinian Prisoners' Hunger Strike (15 August 2004)
http://electronicintifada.net/bytopic/297.shtml

Cobb/LaMarche 2004
http://www.votecobb.org

~ END ~

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