Release all Political Prisoners!

A political prisoner is anyone held in prison or otherwise detained, perhaps under house arrest, because his or her ideas or image either challenge or pose a real or potential threat to the state.

In many cases, a veneer of legality is used to disguise the fact that someone is a political prisoner. Trumped-up criminal charges are used to imprison the political prisoner, or he or she may have been denied bail unfairly, the judiciary may invoke special powers.

Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, over 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel. This forms approximately 20% of the total Palestinian population in the ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’ (OPT).

It is not only in Palestine, we see it also in Colombia.

In Colombia, there are more 7500 political prisoners. Most of these are incarcerated due to government frame-ups, paid informers, false evidence and a goal of repressing dissent. Over the past ten years, with funding and oversight from the US government, Colombia has increased its prison capacity by 40%. At the same time, there has been an increase by 300% of the number of persons arrested for arbitrary and political reasons.

It is not only in Palestine and Colombia; we also see it in Iran. In Iran, they are executed. On May 9, 2010, five Kurdish political prisoners are executed in secret. Shirin Alam Holi, a 28-year-old Kurdish woman, is executed along with four men. It is believed that as least 25 other political prisoners now are scheduled to be executed in Iran.

 

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