Hunger strikes by detainees at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire — one of 13 detention centres in Britain — ended after a month on March 22. However, campaigners have vowed to continue protests.
More than 200 detainees at detention centres in Villawood in Sydney and Maribyrnong in Melbourne, were on hunger strike for five days from January 15–19 in protest at visitor restrictions announced by Border Force.
Beginning January 22, visitors will have to give five days’ notice of any visit and fill in a five-page form, with actual visits restricted to one-on-one.
Visitors will be required to provide 100 points of identification.
Students and staff of Jaffna University rallied on October 4 in support of three Tamil prisoners who are on hunger strike.
The prisoners are accused of having been members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which fought for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka, until defeated in May 2009. The Sri Lankan government’s victory was accompanied by a genocidal massacre of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians.
The demands of the hunger strikers are for basic civil rights. There are 6500 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, including 300 children. About 500 are being held under “administrative detention” — meaning they are held without trial by court orders that can be renewed indefinitely.
Despite the scale of the hunger strike and huge popular support enjoyed by the prisoners and their campaign for “freedom and dignity”, Israel shows no signs of acceding to any of the prisoners’ demands to end their ill-treatment.
Support for the more than 1500 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, which began on April 16, continues to grow across the Occupied Palestinian Territories, despite the more than 1500 prisoners on hunger strike getting almost no reaction from mainstream media.
Twenty-two members of Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance initiated a 24-hour hunger strike in solidarity with the hunger-striking refugees on Manus Island. The action, held from noon on January 20 until noon on January 21, aimed to draw attention to the plight of 700 refugees on Manus Island. It was a symbolic gesture that allowed young people from around the country to start conversations with others who were unaware of what was happening on Manus Island at the direction of the Australian government.