In Solidarity with Bilal Kayed

The International Women’s Peace Service stands in solidarity with Bilal Kayed, and over 100 of his fellow prisoners in Israeli military prisons, in their hunger strike against the abusive and illegal practice of administrative detention.

Bilal Kayed was placed under administrative detention on June 13th, after he completed a fourteen and a half years of incarceration. He was arrested at the age of 19,while working as a youth organizer for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine during the al-Aqsa Intifada, and has continued to work as a PFLP organizer while completing his sentence. The arbitrary and inexplicable extension of his detention is a clear cut case of reprisal for his continued resistance against Israeli occupation, as both a free man and a detainee.

Administrative detention, incarceration without charge, is one of the most widely protested tactics used by the Israeli military to silence Palestinian activists, journalists, and community leaders. International law allows for the practice only under exceptional circumstances; however as of January 1st, approximately 550 Palestinians, many of whom are nonviolent activists, were under administrative detention. Bilal Kayed follows in the footsteps of Mohammad al-Qiq, Khader Adnan, and many others who have taken a stand and refused to eat in protest of illegal, arbitrary, and heavily politicized incarceration.

As Bilal enters his third week on hunger strike, more and more prisoners are joining him. They are now over 100 strong. Strikers face solitary confinement, transfers, and isolation from visits with their families and legal counsel for daring to oppose their jailers. We urge the International community to stand in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, and to demand that the Israeli Prison Service release Bilal Kayed, along with all administrative detainees.

International Women’s Peace Service

Palestinian prisoners rights activists at a demonstration in solidarity with Bilal Kayed, Ramallah

Palestinian prisoners rights activists at a demonstration in solidarity with Bilal Kayed, Ramallah