Six Palestinian young men, Basil al-Araj, 33; Mohammed Harb, 23; Haitham Siyaj, 19; Mohammed al-Salamen, 19; Seif al-Idrissi, 26; and Ali Dar al-Sheikh, 22, are currently imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority; their detention was extended on Monday, 11 April for 15 more days by the PA’s Magistrate’s Court for them to undergo further interrogation. The story of their discovery, arrest and imprisonment has been widely reported in Palestinian media; several of the young men are well-known community and civil activists.
Since that time, their detention has been extended repeatedly and as of Sunday, 28 August, they are now on hunger strike demanding their freedom.
The context of these arrests is that of ongoing PA security coordination with the Israeli occupation. These young men are not a threat to Palestinian security; they are well-known, beloved members of their community and trusted strugglers for the freedom of the Palestinian people. They are not being detained and tortured to protect the Palestinian people, but because the Palestinian Authority, under the Oslo Accords, is a subcontractor of arrests, surveillance and imprisonment to the Israeli occupation that is daily killing Palestinians, imprisoning thousands, carrying out home demolitions, land confiscation, settlement building, racist repression and preventing millions of Palestinian refugees from returning home.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges people of conscience around the world to take action and demand that the PA release these five young men and hold accountable those who have tortured and abused them. It is critically important for international supporters of the Palestinian people and Palestinian cause and Palestinians around the world to make their voices heard and demand an end to the arrest and torture of these young men and the policy of security coordination which has brought about this situation.