Critical Feminist Perspectives on the Palestinian Prisoner Hunger Strike\ Reem Amer

On April 17th, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, 1500 Palestinian political prisoner launched a hunger strike.  Their demands include an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. Rights that should be guaranteed by international humanitarian law. Of the 1,500 prisoners, four female prisoners are on hunger strike. The strikers have faced harsh repression by the prison service that includes preventing them from seeing their lawyers.

The hunger strike is the last resort to ensure their rights, and entails many risks, especially as we enter the fifth week of the strike at the time of publishing, where some of the prisoners have already been, and many more will be, transferred to the Israeli Prison Service hospitals.

As I said, the strike enters the fifth week, a crucial point in the struggle of the prisoners to claim their rights, so I expect the women’s groups and organizations, obligated to feminist principles of anti-oppression, resistance to restraints of freedom and striving for a just peace to support the prisoner and their families, including mothers, wives and daughters. It always is, and even more so now, crucial to call on the international community, international human rights organizations to apply pressure on the Israeli government to respond to the demands of the prisoners before it is too late. In addition, it is our in our power to carry out activities around the world to support Palestinian political prisoners.

*Reem Amer is a feminist political activist and the general co-coordinator of the Coalition of Women for Peace