Zakaria Zubeidi, co-founder of The Freedom Theatre, has been able to return to his home in Jenin refugee camp after spending four years in a Palestinian Authority prison in Ramallah as a consequence of his amnesty being revoked by the Israeli occupation.

In early 2013, Zubeidi, head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades during the second Intifada and later a strong advocate of cultural resistance, was advised by Palestinian Authority security officials to turn himself into Palestinian custody after the Israeli occupation had revoked his amnesty, for unstated reasons. Zubeidi spent the coming four years in an open-door prison cell while attempting to resolve his situation. He was recently able to return to Jenin, his amnesty reinstated. In March 2014, Zubeidi was also formally acquitted of all charges in relation to the five months he spent in Palestinian Authority custody in 2012. [1]
“I benefitted a lot from The Freedom Theatre during my time in prison”, says Zubeidi. “The visits from friends in the theatre meant a lot, and with encouragement from them and others around the world I started studying political science and sociology in prison and continued on a masters course from Birzeit University.
I now have full amnesty and can move freely inside the West Bank. I hope to be able to also travel abroad in the near future. I would like to meet friends who have supported me and The Freedom Theatre to talk about the situation in Palestine and the importance of cultural resistance”.
Zubeidi has been appointed director of the Palestinian Ministry for Prisoner Affairs and recently coordinated a conference on the issue of child prisoners in Israeli prisons.
Today, April 17 marks Palestinian Prisoners Day, and Zubeidi will be involved in actions to demand freedom for Palestinian prisoners. Prisoners across the political spectrum have announced the launch of a collective hunger strike on this day, to demand proper health care, education, phone access, family visits, humane transfer conditions, as well as an end to administrative detention [2] and solitary confinement. Other Palestinian organisations and institutions are also holding events for Palestinian Prisoners Day, as are solidarity activists globally. Read more about Palestinian Prisoners Day.

[2] A form of detention without charge or trial that can be extended indefinitely.