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Back Activities Alerts Action Alert: Palestinians Illegally Detained in Egyptian Prisons

Action Alert: Palestinians Illegally Detained in Egyptian Prisons

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Write to the Gen. Secretary of the OIC and British Foreign Minister to stress the plight of Palestinians imprisoned illegally in Egypt.


Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letters


1. Summary

Over 360 Palestinian prisoners remain imprisoned in Egyptian prisons, such as al-Este’naf, al-Tora and the notorious al-Aqrab. This has occurred despite a court order demanding their immediate release. They have been engaged in a hunger-strike for 17 days against the conditions that they face, and against their illegal detention.

2. Background

IHRC urges all of its followers to highlight the plight of over 360 Palestinian prisoners in the Aqrab, Este'naf and Tora prisons in Egypt; who the Egyptian prison authorities are refusing to release despite being ordered to do so by the courts.

17 days ago, these prisoners began a hunger strike in protest against the conditions which they have faced, and their detention which is illegal under international law. The majority of these prisoners have been arrested under dubious charges, and denied their rights of due-process. This violates both the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. According to reports emerging from Egypt, many prisoners have stated that they are willing to burn themselves alive as an act of desperation against the conditions they are being kept in.

It is important that you call upon the Organisation for Islamic Conference and your political representatives and demand that they do what is in their power to secure the immediate release of these Palestinian prisoners. We cannot let the political upheavals in Egypt overshadow the situation faced by hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, who remain neglected and victimised illegally in the country’s prisons. The new era of Egyptian history must be ushered in with a respect for international and humanitarian rights. The principles of “justice, freedom, equality” should extend to these men imprisoned in Egyptian jails, not just the Egyptian people.


3. Action required

Write to the following authorities requesting them to urge Egyptian prison authorities to release the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners under illegal detention.

a) The Secretary General of the OIC, urging him to raise this issue with the interim Egyptian government. You can find the appropriate address below.

b) British Foreign-Secretary William Hague, demanding that he pursues this issue diplomatically. You will find his address, and email on the sample letter below.


4. Sample letters
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A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

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a) Sample letter to the Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. You may write to Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, with the necessary amendments, using the following letter to the address provided.

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu,
PO Box 178,
Jeddah,
21411,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Dear Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu,

Despite the Egyptian courts having issued release papers for over 360 Palestinian inmates at al-Aqrab, al-Este'naf and al-Tora prisons – they remain under detention and dire conditions. They have, at the time of writing, endured 17 days of hunger-strikes against their treatment by Egyptian prison guards, and due to their illegal captivity by the Egyptian prison authorities. Reports have emerged from Egypt that many inmates are willing to set themselves on fire through desperation against the circumstances they are forced to endure.

I request that as Secretary-General of the OIC, you do all that is in your power to secure the release of these prisoners, whose detention is in violation of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Their detention must also be put to an end due to the duty of every Muslim – including yourself – to aid the oppressed wherever they may be. The Palestinian people are currently being brutalised in the occupied lands, and thus their illegal detention in Egypt is something that should be addressed by the OIC as being a continuance of their plight abroad. The OIC must do what is in its power to order the interim Egyptian government to release these prisoners immediately.

I look forward to your response on this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]

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b) Sample letter to British Foreign-Secretary William Hague. You may write to Foreign-Secretary William Hague via the following email address at hague@parliament.uk Alternatively, please send it with the necessary amendments to the address provided.

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Rt Hon. William Hague MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office,
King Charles Street,
London,
SW1A 2AH,
United Kingdom.


Dear William Hague MP,

Despite the Egyptian courts having issued release papers for over 360 Palestinian inmates at al-Aqrab, al-Este'naf and al-Tora prisons – they remain under detention and dire conditions. They have, at the time of writing, endured 17 days of hunger-strikes against their treatment by Egyptian prison guards, and due to their illegal captivity by the Egyptian prison authorities. Reports have emerged from Egypt that many inmates are willing to set themselves on fire through desperation against the circumstances they are forced to endure.

I request that you, as Foreign-Secretary of the United Kingdom, do all that is in your power to secure the release of these prisoners, whose detention is in violation of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Their detention is not just an assault on international law and human rights, but on the values which drive the Egyptian people towards a new political order. You and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office should do what is in your power to pursue this issue publically and diplomatically, and ensure that the interim Egyptian government releases these prisoners immediately.

I look forward to your response on this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]

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For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below

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For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below.

"And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper."
Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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