On the 9th of September Zakaria Zubeidi announced that he will embark on a death fast, a complete food and fluid strike, in response to the continuous postponement of his release from Palestinian Authority prison. This effectively means that unless the Palestinian Authority releases Zakaria he will most probably not make it through the week.
Zubeidi, co-founder of The Freedom Theatre and former leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, has been imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority for close to four months. No charges have been made against him, no evidence presented and throughout his imprisonment his rights have been severely violated, as described by among others Human Rights Watch (http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/07/27/israelpalestinian-authority-theater-group-hit-both-sides).
Being one of the last survivors of Arna’s Children(1), Zakaria joined the armed resistance during the second Intifada and became one of its leading figures. After co-founding The Freedom Theatre in 2006 Zakaria decided to lay down his weapons in order to join a cultural resistance, which he deemed a more powerful tool against the Israeli occupation. Surviving numerous assassination attempts by the Israeli army and vowing to never again enter an Israeli prison, Zakaria is now instead facing death in a Palestinian prison unless immediate action is taken.
- Contact the local representative office of the Palestinian Authority(2) and demand Zakaria Zubeidi’s release. Since the situation is urgent we also ask you to take more direct actions such as organising protests at PA representative offices.
- Contact local or regional human rights offices and organisations such as Amnesty International and urge them to take action.
- Contact your local MP and MEP and urge them to take action.
- Contact your country’s representative office in the occupied Palestinian territory and urge them to take action(3).
- Call these numbers to demand Zakaria’s release: +972 (0)599000011 Abo Mohammad Shadeh, Head of the Palestinian Authority President’s Security Office, +972 (0)2000011 Said Abualheja, Ministry of Interior , +972 (0)-597778887 Majd Faraj, Head of Palestinian Intelligence
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To [Name], representative of the Palestinian Authority
I am a staunch supporter of the Palestinian people and therefore I am now contacting you on an urgent matter. It has come to my knowledge that Zakaria Zubeidi, co-founder of The Freedom Theatre in Jenin and former military leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has been kept in Palestinian prison for over four months without any charges or accusations brought against him. I have also been informed that Zakaria’s human rights have been violated on several accounts and that as a result he has started a death fast, refusing water or food. That means that he will die within 8-10 days and most probably before that suffer irreversible effects to his health. I urge you to take immediate actions for Zakaria’s release. If you, as a representative of the Palestinian Authority will allow Zakaria to die then you must also know that I and many others will consider you partly responsible for his death.
I trust that you understand the need for your immediate response to this case.
Previous press releases, background and updates
Zakaria Zubeidi remains in prison (02092012)
Zakaria Zubeidi’s release postponed (27082012)
Zakaria Zubeidi to be released on bail (22082012)
Zakaria Zubeidi temporarily released (19082012)
Human Rights Watch calls for end to harassment of The Freedom Theatre (28072012)
New information on Nabil and Zakaria (11072012)
Nabil and Zakaria on hunger strike (05072012)
Latest news on Nabil and Zakaria (01072012)
Action Alert: Free Nabil Al-Raee and Zakaria Zubeidi (07062012)