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article imageDetained Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak released

By Paul Iddon     Jul 10, 2012 in Politics
Mahmoud Sarsak who was detained in an Israeli prison was released today after three years without charge after he undertook a three month long hunger strike.
Reports from AFP, BBC News and the Guardian state that Mahmoud Sarsak received a heroes welcome when he arrived at a Gaza hospital.
Sarsak had been jailed by Israel three years earlier under that country's Unlawful Combatants Law under the suspicion that he was an "Islamic Jihad terrorist who planned attacks and bombings." However no charges or incriminating evidence was ever announced to the public to justify the detention.
Sarsak accordingly went on a hunger strike that lasted nearly three months in protest of being detained on questionable grounds.
Amnesty International and FIFA have protested Mr. Sarsak's detainment. Amnesty today said it was relieved following Sarsak's final release and added that Israel must "immediately end the use of administration detention, and release all Palestinians held under any legal provisions allowing its use, or charge and try them fairly in a court of law consistent with international standards."
"I cannot describe my joy. But at the same time I cannot forget the cries of the prisoners who are still in Israeli prisons. This is a victory for the prisoners and I thank all the Palestinian, Arab and international bodies and people who stood up for me."
-- Mahmoud Sarsak upon his return to Gaza after three years detention
Sarsak was given medical examinations upon his return to Gaza today, he is weak but nevertheless in good health. He has returned to his home in Rafah in the south end of the Gaza Strip.
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