Speech festival at the Palestinian Embassy [Archives:2004/768/Community]

August 30 2004

Hassan Al-Zaidi
The Palestinian Embassy has organized a speech festival on Saturday August 28th in Sana'a to support the Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli prisons.
At the opening of the festival, verses of the Holy Quraan (Al-Fatiha) were recited to bless the souls of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Palestine.
Then, Palestinian ambassador Khalid Al-Sheikh delivered a speech stressing that despite the suffering, prisoners are still striving, and have extended a period of hunger strikes until Monday.
“Some of their demands have been answered, and others not,” he said, acknowledging the efforts of the Yemeni government in advancing the Palestinian cause.
Dr. Ahmed Al-Kibsi delivered a speech on behalf of civil community organizations, which expressed their support for the protest of the prisoners, and the stance of the Palestinian people on the tyrannical occupation.
Halima Sulaiman, head of the preparatory committee of the Palestinian Woman Union, delivered a speech explaining the suffering of prisoners.
She pointed out that over quarter a million Palestinians have passed through Israeli prisons since the start of the occupation, and that over ten thousand Palestinian women have been incarcerated in Israeli prisons from 1968-1976, experiencing all sorts of torture.
She said they had made more than eleven open hunger strikes, and over twenty of them were martyred.
“the number of prisoners was at one time 32,000, and now the number is fluctuating around at 7500, 470 of them are children, and 107 women. Some 28 Palestinian woman prisoners have prison sentences, including life-sentences. There are 69 imprisoned female suspects, 3 administrative prisoners, 18 mother detainees. There are 1873 administrative prisoners, 3058 who are being detained while under investigation, 373 prisoners with life sentences, and 309 serving 15-50 year sentences. About 150 prisoners have been executed while in detention,” she explained.
The participants sent a petition letter to the President of the Republic, asking him to keep on supporting the struggle of the Palestinian people, and pay efforts to protect their lives, and answer their rightful demands.
They also sent a letter to UN Secretary General Kufi Anan, demanding him to act according to his responsibilities and intervene to protect Palestinian prisoners from the Israeli terrorization and persecution as well as to make Israelis execute UN resolutions.