“Our choice is freedom”: Denise Hammouri’s letter to Macron

“Our choice is freedom. We will continue our struggle, knowing what awaits us: repression, abuse,
isolation, confiscation of our clothes and photos of our children, being thrown into cells and deprived of
everything except our bodies and our pain”
Mr. President,
With these words, 30 Palestinian political prisoners under the administrative detention regime began a
hunger strike on September 25 to protest against their administrative detention.
My son Salah Hammouri, a Franco-Palestinian lawyer, has joined with the other 29 detainees on this
current hunger strike. These 28 prisoners are divided in four cells in Ofer prison, while another two
prisoners are held in solitary confinement, one in the Negev prison and Salah in the prison of Hadarim.
Since his solitary confinement last week we have had no news. The consular services with whom we are
in daily contact are struggling to obtain a visit, and with each request, there are excuses, obstacles,
holidays, security etc. Endless reasons given to hinder their visit to Salah.
Where are you Mr. President?
Our family is tired of reading and listening to statements where you demand “that all of his [Salah’s]
rights be respected and that he be able to enjoy all means of appeal”. From the moment of Salah’s
administrative detention, he has had no rights, there is only a secret file to which neither his family nor
his lawyer have access.
The only means of objection and appeal Salah has at the moment to regain his freedom is this hunger
strike with all the physical and moral suffering that it implies for him first and for our family in France
and in Palestine.
Mr. President, by tomorrow it will be a week since Salah was confined to a tiny cell without food. We
urge you to demand a quick consular visit in order to check in on Salah and send word to us, his family,
in Paris and Jerusalem. Salah is Palestinian, but he is also a French citizen, and his safety and wellbeing
is your responsibility.
Mr. President, I would like to ask you to put yourself in my position for five minutes. You have loved
ones, just like us and can imagine Salah’s suffering and the degree of pain and anguish that everyone in
our family endures as a result of the brutal treatment he is subject to. Now imagine, Mr President, if this
was a member of your family.
“Our choice is freedom” is the slogan of the prisoners on hunger strike, freedom is also present in the
motto of our republic.
Awaiting your response, please accept my sincere greetings Mr. President.
Mrs. Denise Hammouri