This appeal for solidarity was first posted by Working Class Club on Facebook.

Dr. Issam Hijawi is Palestinian and has lived in Scotland for over ten years where he works as a doctor and is active in highlighting the cause of the Palestinian people.. He was detained at Heathrow Airport on 22nd of August following an MI5 spycop/supergrass operation similar to those used against political activists campaigning on everything from the environment to human rights in the past. He was taken to Belfast where he was held in a police station for questioning for 5 days.

After being denied bail on August 27th he was transferred to the isolation unit in Maghaberry jail. He immediately informed prison staff of his existing health conditions, medication required and concerns that he requires an MRI scan to diagnose a developing condition. He was refused medication and not taken for the MRI, which it was agreed he required, until Monday 14th September.

Upon returning from hospital he was told that he would be returned to the dilapidated isolation wing of the prison for a further two weeks, despite there being plenty of space to isolate in the main prison. Given the uninhabitable state of the isolation wing, his medical conditions, and his previous treatment, he advised staff that if he was returned here then he would immediately embark on a hunger strike. Staff refused to listen and Issam began a hunger strike on Wednesday evening.

On hearing of this, republican prisoners in Maghaberry immediately joined him in solidarity, with those in Portlaoise joining the following morning as news reached them. A press release was sent to every media source across the islands and was ignored by all.

Let us be clear, this is not a matter of your views on a united Ireland, or on Palestine. This is a question of basic human rights. It is a matter of state infiltration, entrapment, imprisonment and persecution of political activists. It highlights how the entire media will close ranks to protect the state when told to. This is the control the ruling class have and we must stand together against it at every opportunity.