The world says: “Free Khalil Awawdeh!” as Palestinian prisoner continues hunger strike
Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh has continued his hunger strike for the 172nd day. Since his detention was “suspended” on Friday, 19 August, he has been held in Assaf Harofeh hospital, where he has been interviewed by journalists and visited by his family members and loved ones. He has repeatedly affirmed that he will only end his strike with a real agreement for his release, and he and his supporters have denounced the attempt of the occupation to evade its responsibility for Awawdeh’s life and health through the fig leaf of “suspended” detention.
On Sunday, 21 August, the Israeli occupation high court rejected Awawdeh’s appeal against his administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. Awawdeh is among approximately 650 administrative detainees out of nearly 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners in total; two brothers, Ahmad and Adel Musa, have now joined Awawdeh on hunger strike against their administrative detention for the past 15 days.
Administrative detention orders are issued for up to six months at a time on the basis of alleged “secret evidence,” and they are indefinitely renewable. Originally introduced to Palestine by the British colonial mandate before being adopted by the Zionist regime, administrative detention orders are frequently used against community leaders and organizers, and there is a growing campaign to force an end to this policy.
While the court affirmed that Awawdeh “may receive visitors without discrimination” according to his lawyer Ahlam Haddad, the Israeli occupation simultaneously withdrew the permits of his family to enter occupied Palestine ’48, essentially blocking them from visiting their loved one and imposing a new form of collective punishment on the Awawdeh family.
As Awawdeh has continued to put his body and life on the line for justice and liberation, people around the world are mobilizing to demand his freedom, from social media storms and online campaigns to the streets of global cities.
From Paris to Vancouver to Berlin and beyond, see the photos here!