[BELFAST] Salah Hammouri speaks! Palestinian prisoner, deportee and human rights defender
Apartheid Israel jailed and deported him. France is trying to silence him. Hear first-hand from Palestinian lawyer and human rights defender Salah Hammouri!
To mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2023, the Belfast Branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign is honoured to host an evening with former Palestinian political prisoner Salah Hammouri, a human rights defender, lawyer and researcher at Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.
Date: Saturday 22nd April 2023
Venue: Aras Ui Chonghaile/James Connolly Visitor Centre, 374-376 Falls Road, Belfast
Salah Hammouri’s liberty, work and freedom of expression have been continually attacked by Apartheid Israel; first shot and jailed by Israeli occupation forces while protesting at the age of 16, he has spent 9 of his 37 years –almost half his adult life– in Israeli prisons.
This repression culminated in seven months’ internment without trial followed, last December, by deportation from his homeland in violation of international law. Now the French government is trying to stop Salah –a dual Palestinian-French citizen– from speaking in public.
His case has been highlighted by Amnesty International, Frontline Defenders, and the International Federation for Human Rights.
Come along to hear first-hand from Salah about his own experiences, the work of Addameer, and the Israeli prison system’s role as a central plank of the architecture of Apartheid.
Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, it has maintained a mass detention policy targeting, among others, human rights and political activists, children and elected politicians. Some 800,000 Palestinians have been detained by the Israeli military. Israel’s torture, ill treatment and other violations of human rights and international law in regards to political prisoners is widespread and systematic. As of March 2023, some 4,800 Palestinian political detainees are being held in Israeli prisons, 170 of which are children; almost 1,000 are administrative detainees, indefinitely interned without charge or trial.
The issue of prisoners is one that is often overlooked in discussions around the Palestine-Israel issue. Yet the prisoners issue goes to the very heart of Israel’s Apartheid policies – the decapitation of political movements, the criminalisation and ‘securitisation’ of young people who resist occupation, not to mention the psychological and traumatic effects detention and abuse has on young people who go through the prison system.
Even NGOs who work with prisoners are targets of Israeli repression; in October 2021 the Israeli government declared Addameer, along with several other Palestinian civil society organisations, to be ‘terrorist entities’ – a designation rejected by the Irish government and other European Union countries.
Addameer is a Palestinian non-governmental, civil institution that works to support Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. Established in 1992 by a group of activists interested in human rights, the center offers free legal aid to political prisoners, advocates their rights at the national and international level, and works to end torture and other violations of prisoners’ rights through monitoring, legal procedures and solidarity campaigns.
Addameer believes in the importance of building a free and democratic Palestinian society based on justice, equality, rule of law and respect for human rights within the larger framework of the right to self-determination. Addameer’s work is based on a belief in the universality of human rights as enshrined in international law.
Addameer is one of the seven Palestinian human rights organisations designated as ‘terrorist entities‘ by the Israeli state in 2021.