Netherlands, The Hague: Demonstration for the liberation of Bilal Kayed

On Friday 24 June, a group of thirty people protested in The Hague for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoner Bilal Kayed and against state pension benefits for Israeli settlers. The action was supported by a dozen organizations and was part of international protests for the freedom of Bilal Kayed in dozens of cities, including New York, Berlin, Brussel and Paris.

The Palestinian political prisoner Bilal Kayed would see the daylight again on the 13th of June, after 14,5 years in Israeli prisons. While his family was waiting for him, he was ordered by the Israeli occupation military to six months in administrative detention without charge or trial. He is now on an open hunger strike which he launched the morning of 15 June – demanding his freedom and an end to administrative detention. On Friday 24 June there will be international protests in solidarity with Kayed and his struggle for freedom and against administrative detention. We demand freedom from Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners, and an end to administrative detention.

While Bilal Kayed is being imprisoned illegally by Israel, the Dutch government is paying illegal state pensions to illegal settlers in the West Bank. The state pension for illegal Israeli settlers is higher than that for older people in The Netherlands! The Dutch government is also trying its very best to pay as little social benefits as possible to Moroccan-Dutch and Turkish-Dutch citizens who emigrate. The Dutch state pension for illegal settlers goes against international and Dutch law. We demand an end to the support for the colonization and occupation of Palestine.

Along the route from the Central Station to the Drees-monument, chants were shouted such as ‘free, free Bilal Kayed’ and ‘geen AOW voor kolonisten’ (‘no state pension for settlers’). Flyers were distributed to bystanders and the message of the protest was spread. Some bystanders spontaneously joined the protest.

Before arriving to the Drees-monument, a stop was made at the Israeli embassy to make them hear the protest. At the Drees-monument there were speeches by Het Palestijnse Huis, the Palestinian Women Association Netherlands and Samidoun, Palestinian Political Prisoners Solidarity Network.


C. Kistler

Also editor of Nouvelle Turquie.