Freed but not free: Gaza welcomes detainee and former hunger striker Ayman Sharawna

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 25 – Hundreds rallied outside the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquarters this morning to welcome former Palestinian detainee and long-term hunger striker Ayman Sharawna. (Photo: Joe Catron)

Hundreds rallied outside the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza Strip headquarters yesterday to welcome former Palestinian detainee and long-term hunger striker Ayman Sharawna.

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Gaza rally welcomes Ayman Sharawna March 25, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)

Sharawna, initially released after nine years of detention in the October 18, 2011 prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas, was recaptured by Israeli forces at his home in Hebron on January 31.

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Gaza rally welcomes Ayman Sharawna March 25, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)

Israeli military prosecutors demanded that Sharawna complete the remaining 28 years of his sentence based on the contents of a “secret administrative file.” On July 1, he launched an open hunger strike.

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Gaza rally welcomes Ayman Sharawna March 25, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)

Sharawna’s hunger strike ended on March 17 in a deal that saw Israel force him into the Gaza Strip for a term of ten years. Human rights organizations condemned his displacement as a war crime.

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Gaza rally welcomes Ayman Sharawna March 25, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)

“Israel is treating Gaza as the back prison for the occupied Palestinian territories by these practices,” said Sahar Francis, executive director of the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.

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Gaza rally welcomes Ayman Sharawna March 25, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)
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Gaza rally welcomes Ayman Sharawna March 25, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)
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Gaza rally welcomes Ayman Sharawna March 25, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)
 
About Joe Catron

Joe Catron is a US activist in Gaza, Palestine, where he works with Palestinian groups and international solidarity networks, particularly in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and prisoners' movements. He co-edited The Prisoners' Diaries: Palestinian Voices from the Israeli Gulag, an anthology of accounts by detainees freed in the 2011 prisoner exchange, blogs at joecatron.wordpress.com and tweets at @jncatron.

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  1. Mndwss
    March 26, 2013, 12:44 pm

    Gaza is not a prison?

    Israel Sentences Hunger Striker to Ten Years in Gaza Strip:
    link to news.antiwar.com

    But they will let in food for the prisoners. (Not much). And they let the prisoners fight over how to distribute the food.

    This reminded me about an episode of Stargate called Prisoners.

    “In the Stargate SG-1 episode “Prisoners”, Daniel Jackson compares the British planned use of Botany Bay to the prison planet SG-1 is sent.”
    link to en.wikipedia.org
    link to stargate.wikia.com

    And also the episode: The Chute from Star Trek: Voyager.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    “In the episode, Tom Paris and Harry Kim are falsely accused of a terrorist bombing on the Akritirian homeworld which kills 47 Akritirian citizens and sent to a brutal prison where inmates must fend for themselves to survive. When Captain Janeway tries to intercede, she is told by Ambassador Liri of Akritiri that Harry and Paris had confessed to the crime and her appeal for clemency is rejected. All the prisoners including Tom and Harry are implanted with a brain implant called “the clamp” which induces aggression among its victims. The apparent intent of the Akritirian’s device was to cause the prisoners to fight and kill each other in order to reduce their numbers in prison thereby allowing the Akritirians to more easily control them.”

  2. MK_Ultra
    March 27, 2013, 6:46 pm

    Very brave man. I’m glad he’s free with his family and community even if for now. Great pix! Enjoyed them very much. Can’t ever get enough of the little ones.

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