After 200 days on hunger strike, Ayman Sharawna is dying in an Israeli prison

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Latest update: The advocate of the Ministry of Detainees, Akram Ajwah, said on Saturday February 9: “The Palestinian hunger strike detainee Ayman Ismail Sharawna was transferred to the isolation of Be’er Sheva’s prison.”

Ayman’s Story

Ayman Sharawna is from the village of Deir Samet in Dura-Hebron, south of the West Bank; he is 38 years old. His nine children are patiently awaiting his return. Sharawna was re-arrested by the Israeli authorities on January 31st, 2012, a few months after his release. He is now imprisoned in a small cell where no one can hear his call or feel his pain.

He started his hunger strike on July 1st, 2012 to protest his illegal re-arrest and demand freedom and justice, but as Addameer reported, “He suspended his hunger strike several times, because Israel promised they would review his case.”

However, to this day his case was postponed and it was reported that Ayman has resumed his hunger strike. There have been many other Palestinian detainees on hunger strike; Khader Adnan, Hanaa Shalabi, and Mahmoud Sarsak are a few. Like Ayman, they all protested the inhumane conditions they live in and fought for freedom and justice.

His Latest Release

Ayman Sharawna spent 10 years in Israeli jails before he was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap in 2011. On January 31st, 2012, Israel violated its commitment to the deal and arrested him again along with other released prisoners. Ayman is not the only one suffering the bitterness of captivity; on February 10th, 2012, Samer Issawi entered his 202nd day of hunger strike without any suspension.

Furthermore, there are two prisoners, Tareq Qa’adan and Ja’far Ezeddine, who are on hunger strike protesting the unjust so-called law of “Administrative Detention” and demanding their freedom.

Per my conversation with Ayman Sharawna’s mother whose heart is crying,

“My son Ayman is in a real danger. I have hardly seen anyone who care about his situation. Our hearts are bleeding and we could never sleep the night knowing that he is dying inside Israel’s prison. This is our land and we will never move out no matter what.”

Deteriorating Health

The Prisoner Club reported that Ayman has completely lost his right kidney, 50% of his left kidney and sight in the left eye. In addition, he also lost so much weight and his health is seriously deteriorating. He has been transferred from one prison to another and put in solitary confinement several times to break his steadfastness. The international community should speak up to break the walls of silence and interfere to rescue the lives of the Palestinian detainees who are held indefinitely inside Israel’s prisons without charges or trials.

Refusing Banishment

Ayman was sentenced to 38 years in prison before being released. In the very first days of his freedom, the Israeli intelligence officers offered him to be exiled to Gaza or Jordan, but he refused. Many Palestinian detainees were exiled to Gaza and other countries as a way of punishment by the Israeli authorities; they were denied return to their hometown as a result of this unjust policy. He is enduring the pain of hunger, the bitterness of captivity and the silence of the international community.

An Urgent Word to the World

The Palestinian hunger strikers should not be left alone while facing inevitable death inside dark cells; they are teaching the world the true meaning of dignity and liberty. This is a serious appeal to the free people around the world and to every human being out there as Samer Issawi, Ayman Sharawna, Tareq Qa’adan and Ja’far Ezeddine, are calling you. If we take immediate actions, we can rescue their lives instead of receiving them in coffins! They are not terrorists as Israel claims; they are freedom fighters defending their country.

A Final Message

A great man once said, “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” The hunger strikers represent the conscience of humanity and the true pulse of freedom; we should all stand by them until justice is achieved. Non-mainstream media, singers, writers, and activist have brought attention to Palestinian hunger strikers’ issues. Tariq Shadid, aka ‘Doc Jazz’, dedicated his most recent song ‘Hunger’ to the hunger strikers, specifically for Samer Issawi who has been on a continuous hunger strike for more than 202 days.

About Omar Daraghmeh

Omar Daraghmeh is a 25-year-old English student at the Arab American University-Jenin.


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