Palestine: Campaign helps win Sireen Khudiri prisoner's release

Steven Katsineris with an update to his earlier piece on Sireen Khudiri. The update initially featured in Green Left Weekly on 30 July 2013. Steven Katsineris is an Australian free-lance writer of articles on Palestine, Cyprus and the rest of the Middle East region, political prisoners and human rights, environmental and social issues. He has been actively involved in the Palestine solidarity movement for over forty years. Steven lives with his family in Melbourne, Australia.

Really pleased to report Palestinian teacher and activist Sireen Khudiri, 25 was released from occupation prison on July 15, 2013 after two months of imprisonment. A court decision was made to release her on payment of 7000 shekels ($2,483 Aust.) serving as bail. She is now home with her family.

Thanks so much to all those who wrote letters and signed petitions to protest Sireen’s imprisonment, promoted awareness of her situation or posted or wrote messages of support. These efforts may have had an impact in helping free Sireen from prison.

However, the court has ordered that she must not leave her house and must not use the internet. Sireen also has to go back to court on 16th September '13.

Sireen was arrested on May 15, as she returned to her home town of Tubas from university. She was arrested for her internet activism, because she wrote articles critical of Israeli actions in the occupied West Bank. Israel accused Sireen of creating a Facebook page that threatens the security of Israel and the region.

After her release Sireen said that conditions for female political prisoners are very bad in Hasharon Prison, with medical neglect and mistreatment common. And she called on those who work for the prisoners cause to focus campaign on this situation. Sireen also urged support for Tahrir Mansour at her court hearing on August 28th.

Sireen’s family have sent a message to all Siren’s friends who acted with humanity and solidarity to free Sireen. They said:

Thankful for your support against apartheid occupation, today (Sireen) feel sorry because she can't thank by herself each one who supported her. As you know it's forbidden for her to use internet. She sends her love for all of you. We wish freedom for all prisoners.

Thank you very much for your support.

For more information – visit Facebook page, Sireen Khudiri Sawafteh campaign.  


  1. Very Pleased Sireen has been released, but, what a cheek to charge her for being held against her will.

    Lets hope everyone is released , Irish Included.

  2. Where have we heard all this before?
    Thought and speech control is now seemingly ubiquitous .
    Even release from prison is no longet release in the context we once knew it.

  3. Nuala,

    which underscores the need to find outlets for distributing information. At some point the Western states will start administratively disappearing people - we will only know they are in the system somewhere but are forbidden to talk about it or access information about them. They will consider resorting to the Apartheid banning law.

  4. Mackers,
    there is a genuine feeling that the panoptic has extended to every area of a person's life.
    I know very genuine and very decent people who have genuine sympathy and empathy with people who are subjected to stop and search, strip search, harassment and internment via secret evidence or manufactured evidence but they shy away saying or doing anything.
    Outlets for information are the only way. The other alternative is curl up in a ball.

  5. Nuala,

    Michel Foucault drew on the image and concept of the Panopticon to illustrate the survillance society. He also described it as a carceral archipelago .

    That I found a most useful twist of the discourse against the West for its reliance on Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago to hammer Soviet repression.

  6. Mackers,
    The panopticon was driven by the theory you can be watched at all times without knowing you are being watched
    Althought Bentham originally promoted its usage in prisons, hospitals and asylums it has grown and grown.
    The West deployes this mode of spying under the label counter espionage and protection.
    We are being spied on for our own good. Spooky!

  7. Nuala,

    the big eye in the middle! That is how jails were to be designed - all wimngs leading to the circle form where everything could be watched!