On 4 May 2012, the Arab Association for Human Rights -‘Haq’ Youth Movement organized a protest tent and solidarity actions entitled ‘Free Despite Shackles’ in support of the Palestinian Prisoners’ struggle in Israeli prison and their hunger strike as a means to recuperate their rights in the occupation prison. Activities at the tent began at one o’clock in the afternoon with an announcement of a symbolic hunger strike during the period of the solidarity actions. Dozens of Haq members as well as many activists and families of prisoners gathered at Mary’s Well Square to participate in the solidarity actions.
Speeches and artistic performances
The programme enjoyed public recognition and wide youth participation. The youth organized a silent demonstration in which they simulated the detention conditions faced by prisoners, such as handcuffing and blindfolding. This demonstration attracted the attention of passers-by and encouraged them to participate.
After this silent demonstration, the protesters assembled at Mary’s Well Square, where Mohammad Zeidan, the director-general of the HRA, delivered a speech, emphasizing the necessity of solidarity actions with prisoners to attain their morally and legally legitimate rights under international conventions concerning prisoners’ affaires. Qadri Abu Wasel, an activist in the field of prisoners’ rights, stressed the cruel and inhuman circumstances faced by Palestinian prisoners: solitary confinement, denial of family visits in addition to daily ill-treatment. Qadri Abu Wasel also emphasized the importance of popular struggle of the Movement as a means to support Palestinian prisoners’ struggle.
Though their personal human stories, Prisoner’s family members spoke about the daily sufferings faced by prisoners’ children, which affect everyone and cast a heavy shadow upon their life.
It should be noted that throughout the protest, Haq Theatre Group members acted out their plays in which the actors embodied prisoners’ personal stories. The programme concluded with a series of songs performed by Danya Darwashe, a member of Haq Art Group, followed by the Palestinian National Anthem ‘Mawtini’ (My Homeland) sung by all participants.