Friday, 15 June 2012

Release Mahmoud Sarsak

At this moment in time many people in the UK are enjoying the UEFA Euro 2012. But also happening is the fate of a young Palestinian fotballer named Mahmoud Sarsak, he is currently in a critical condition after 89 consecutive days of hunger strike. This follows his detention under 'administrative  detebtion' procedures, where he is being held by Israel without charge and without trial. He has been detained since July 2009, when he was detained at a checkpoint as he travelled from his home in Gaza to join the national Palestinian squad for a match at Balata in the Northern West Bank. In their first home international last year, an Olympic qualifying match against Thailand, the Palestinian team was without eight key players, all of whom had been refused permission to travel from Gaza to Ramallah.
The 25 year old had once hoped to push the ranking of his national team back to a reasonable standing. If Palestinians ever deserve to be called fanatics, it is in relation to their love of soccer.Their struggle to play it, is linked with their struggle for freedom. Palestines ranking at 164th in the world is testament not to any lack of passion for the game, but to Israel's constant attempts at destroying even this pastime, and passion.
Growing up in refugee camps it is through sports like football that many Palestinian youth are enpowered.

Earlier this year, the UN determined that Israel's policies in the occupied territories amounted to a violation of the UN's convention prohibiting apartheid.
Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Director, Philip Luther on Mahmoud said

' After almost three years in detention, the Israeli authorities have had ample opportunity to charge al-Sarsak with a recognisable criminal offence and bring him to trial. They have failed to do so, and instead repeatedly affirmed his detention order on the basis of secret infomation withheld from him and his Lawyer.'

He has also been denied proper access to medical treatment repeatedly during his hunger strike. For someone on the verge of death, this amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of Israel's international obligation.

Time is not on his side and the matter gets urgent by each day, the international community has daily been speaking out, with Eric Cantona, Red Card against Racism and the FIFA President all speaking out against his continual detention.

You can support Mahmoud today by following this link, and try and help release him so that he can return to his family and friends. Asking your MP to make urgent representations to the Foreign office now.

1 comment:

  1. Mahmoud agreed to start eating on Monday. He has signed the agreement in the presence of his lawyer. Israeli authorities then asked him to eat something in thir presence, he took a piece of chocolate from his lawyer. Under the deal he will visit a civilan hospital for treatment today, but will then return to Ramie prison until his release on July 10.
    Without prominent figures in the sports world coming to his support, it is possible he would have been allowed to die. It has to be remembered that there has been never any evidence available to try him for any criminal activity. So I hail his courage and tenacity. Because of his stand he has drawn attention to Israel's practice of holding Palestinians without charges or trial.
    Once again the policies of Israel has been put under scrutiny.