Media practitioner appreciates advocacy for Palestinian female prisoners

A media practitioner, Aat Surya Safaat (left), and Aqsa Working Group (AWG) trustees Imaam Yakhsyallah Mansur (right) at a press conference ahead of the International Conference to support Palestinian Women Prisoners on Wednesday (March 16, 2022). (Photo: Special)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesian media practitioner Aat Surya Safaat has appreciated a humanitarian institution Aqsa Working Group’s (AWG) for advocating Palestinian women through an International Conference to support Palestinian Women Prisoners, which resulted in the Tjoet Meutia Declaration.

“I appreciate the AWG’s concern for the fate of Palestinian female inmates in Israeli prisons. I also ‘take my hat off’ to the AWG that has succeeded in presenting testimonies of several former Palestinian women and children prisoners virtually at the conference,” he said here on Thursday night (March 17).

The Head of Foreign Affairs of the Indonesian Cyber ​​Media Union (SMSI) told reporters after the closing of the international conference under the theme ‘Move together to defend Palestinian women and children’.

The conference featured speakers from within and outside Indonesia. Speakers from Indonesia were AWG Trustees Imaam Yakhsyallah Mansur, Muslim activist Peggy Melati Sukma, Director of Islamic Information at the Ministry of Religion, Dr. Syamsul Bahri, and Deputy Director of the School of Strategic and Global Studies at the University of Indonesia Dr. Abdul Muta’ali.

Meanwhile, speakers from abroad were the Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia, Dr. Zuhair Al-Shun, and some figures from Malaysia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Turkey, and Palestine.

Aat further explained that by holding the international conference, the AWG actually helped the Indonesian government defend the Palestinian people and struggle for Palestinian independence through the second track diplomacy.

According to the Head of the ANTARA News Agency’s New York bureau (1993-1998), who was also the ANTARA News Director in 2016, the informal second-track diplomacy could actually complement and strengthen the formal government’s first-track diplomacy.

“Therefore, I see that the AWG has actually been playing a role in the second track diplomacy,” he said.

The AWG also holds the Palestine Solidarity Week in November annually which features various events, including collecting donations for Palestinian refugees and raising Palestinian and Indonesian flags on several mountain peaks in Indonesia, which have attracted the attention of international mass media.

The humanitarian agency which was founded in August 2008 has always been alert in responding to humanitarian issues of the Palestinian people, who are still in the grip of the Israeli occupation.

The AWG, which has 13 bureaus throughout Indonesia, is now led by Chairman of the Presidium Muhammad Anshorullah and Secretary General Subhan Amier Chaf with advisor Imaam Yakhsyallah Mansur.

Aat added that he expressed concern after seeing testimonies delivered virtually by several former Palestinian female and child prisoners.

“All of us who witnessed their testimonies were deeply moved, and some even shed tears because the Palestinian prisoners were subjected to inhumane violence, both physically and verbally. They were interrogated for hours in handcuffs and placed in a stuffy and smelly room,” he said.

Moreover, he continued, it was also informed that there were Palestinian women who gave birth in prisons without proper medical assistance, and not a few of the Palestinian female prisoners and children who were infected with COVID-19 because they lived in crammed situation as well as in a stuffy and dirty prison room.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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