Local writer among Bristolians in solidarity fast with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails

Bristolians on hunger strike in solidarity with five Palestinian prisoners who are on indefinite hunger strike in Israeli jails

Today, Monday 7th January 2013, Vanessa Whiteley, a British writer from Cotham, and the poetry evenings coordinator of last year’s Palestine-Bristol Film Festival, has started a fast with five Bristolians in solidarity with five Palestinian prisoners who are on indefinite hunger strike in Israeli jails.

{jcomments on}They will be fasting in a “solidarity tent” from 9:00am until 6:00pm outside Hamilton House Stokes Croft, Bristol .

Five Palestinians who were released in the 2012 prisoner exchange have been re-arrested and are being held in Israeli jails in “administrative detention”. They are currently on hunger-strike, ranging from 41 to 187 days (the latter is the longest hunger strike in history). Israel in breach of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which says that no person should be “subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention”.  

Relatives of Palestinian Prisoners have called for an international day of fasting on Monday 7th January. Nearly two thousand supporters around the world have pledged on Facebook they will fast in solidarity. In the UK supporters in London are planning a public fast at St Martin in the Fields Church Trafalgar Square . Bristol campaigners are the first group outside of London to organise a public event.

In Bristol , five campaigners will be fasting, one for each Palestinian prisoner. They will be fasting in a “solidarity tent” from 9:00am until 6:00pm outside Hamilton House Stokes Croft, Bristol . They will be leafleting the public and asking people to sign a petition to local MP Stephen Williams, urging him to contact the Foreign Secretary to intercede with Israel and request the immediate release of the prisoners.

Vanessa Whiteley, a writer and a poet from Cotham, is one of the people fasting said:-

“I shocked at the injustice being done by Israeli towards these Palestinian prisoners and deeply moved that they have embarked on such a long hunger strike. They say they will carry on until they die unless Israel drops their ploy of administrative detention.”

Vanessa goes on to say:-

“Imagine that it was your brother, sister or child that was slowly starving? I am a mother myself so I can identify how their families must feel. I am proud to be part of the team of campaigners here in Bristol fasting for just one day. And I encourage everyone else who cares about human life and justice to join us or send a message of support.”

Visitors and supporters are welcome to visit the “Solidarity Tent” on Stokes Croft and People are also encouraged to sign an online petition at this link 

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