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Back Activities Press Releases PRESS RELEASE: IHRC demands the release of Palestinian hunger striker Mahmoud Sarsak

PRESS RELEASE: IHRC demands the release of Palestinian hunger striker Mahmoud Sarsak

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Mahmoud Sarsak

Professional footballer and Palestine national player, Mahmoud Sarsak, has been on hunger strike in an Israeli prison for 89 days and is near death.

Sarsak has been detained without charge for three years.  He was arrested under the Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law of 2002. 

Sarsak, a member of the Palestinian national soccer team, was arrested on 22 July 2009 at the Erez crossing on his way to join the Balata soccer club team in Nablus. Since being arrested, Sarsak has not been allowed to speak with his family as Israel prohibits security prisoners from using the telephone. Sarsak’s family has not been able to visit as Israel has prohibited family visits for all prisoners from the Gaza Strip.
According to the Israeli government he is an illegal combatant and therefore they can imprison him indefinitely.

To protest against his condition and lack of civil liberties, Sarsak currently is on a hunger strike. The 25-year old footballer has not eaten for 89 days and has lost approximately thirty kilos in weight. According to human rights organisation Addameer the situation of Mahmoud is critical.

IHRC is deeply concerned about Sarsak’s health and about his imprisonment and therefore asks for his immediate release from jail.

Chair of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjareh, said, “The fact that this is taking place during Euro 2012 and the media are silent of the plight of a professional footballer is outrageous.” He also called on people to “take action now, and call on the Israelis to release this young man.” [ENDS]

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Notes to editors:

[1] For all interviews please contact media@ihrc.org or telephone 020 8904 4222

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The Islamic Human Rights Commission is an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

IHRC is not responsible for the content of external websites, nor endorses them by providing their link.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183
Email: info@ihrc.org
Web: www.ihrc.org

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