Wednesday, March 14, 2012

100 people gather in support of Hana Shalabi in Belfast

Over 100 people attended a vigil for Hana Shalabi in Belfast tonight in a beautiful demonstration of solidarity for Hana, her family, and the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Palestine.

Everyone assembled at the freshly painted mural which honors Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi.  The Mural, which was painted on the International Peace Wall in West Belfast will be seen by thousands of tourists who visit Belfast, and will no doubt raise awareness for not only Khader and Hana, but the brutal practice of Administrative Detention.

Hana had previously been held in administrative detention at the HaSharon prison in Israel for a 30 month period between 2009 and 2011, being released in the prisoner exchange of four months ago that freed 1027 Palestinians and the lone Israeli soldier captive, Gilad Shalit. Since her release she has been trying to recover from the deep sense of estrangement she experienced in prison, and rarely left her home or the company of her family. As she was returning to normalcy she was re-arrested in an abusive manner, which allegedly included a strip-search by a male soldier.

On February 16, 2012, the day of this renewal of her administrative detention, Hana Shalabi indicated her resolve to start a hunger strike to protest her own treatment and to demand an end of administrative detention now relied upon by Israel to hold at least 309 Palestinian in prison. Her parents have been denied visitation rights, Hana Shalabi has been placed in solitary confinement, and her health has deteriorated to the point of concern for her life. Impressively, her parents have committed themselves to a hunger strike for as long as their daughter remains under administrative detention. Her mother, Badia Shalabi, has made a video in which she says that even to see food makes her cry considering the suffering of her daughter.


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