Cross border hunger strike is ended

Dr. Issam Hijjawi has lived in Scotland

By Michael Jackson

The Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Associations has announced the end of the hunger strike in Magahberry and Hydebank prisons in County Antrim and Portlaoise in the Republic.

The hunger strike was initiated in support of Palestinian doctor, Dr, Issam Hijjawi, who has been charged over alleged links to the New IRA.

The 62-year-old started his fast on September 16 while in isolation for two weeks after returning from an outside hospital following an MRI scan.

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Republicans had embarked on a hunger strike in solidarity with Dr. Hijjawi and demanded he be moved back to Roe House.

Roe House is the Republican wing at Maghaberry.

At one point hundreds of people joined a picket in support of the hunger strikers on the Andersonstown and Falls Roads in Belfast.

In a later statement, the IRPWA announced that the hunger strike had ended after Dr. Hijjawi was returned to Roe House “with his comrades."

Said the statement: “The Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association can also now announce an end to the current hunger strike by Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry, Portlaoise and Hydebank.

“The MI5-led Maghaberry regime are solely responsible for this hunger strike and cannot and will not break the spirit and determination of Republican Prisoners.

“The IRPWA would like to take this opportunity to commend the courage and comradeship of all the hunger strikers.

“The female Republican Prisoners of Hydebank and our comrades in Portlaoise who hungered in solidarity with our imprisoned comrades in Maghaberry and with Dr. Issam Hijjawi rightly deserve full recognition. Their unwavering support to one another is a true beacon of unity.

“The hunger strike and acts of solidarity by like-minded Republicans is a true testament to the strength and vitality of the national liberation struggle.”