Palestinians seek Pizza Hut boycott for ‘mocking hunger strike’

A woman walks by a Palestinian branch of the Pizza Hut company, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Wednesday. (AP)
Updated 11 May 2017
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Palestinians seek Pizza Hut boycott for ‘mocking hunger strike’

JERUSALEM: Palestinians called for a boycott of Pizza Hut on Tuesday after the company’s franchise in Israel was accused of mocking hunger-striking prisoners.
The franchise’s Facebook page was said to have shared an image released by Israeli police, which appears to show Palestinian hunger-strike leader Marwan Barghouti secretly breaking his fast.
“Barghouti, if you are going to break your (hunger) strike, isn’t pizza the better choice?” a screenshot of the post said, with a pizza box seemingly photoshopped into the picture.
The image was later removed from the Facebook page, though it was still found on the page of at least one local branch.
A spokeswoman for Pizza Hut International apologized for the post.
“It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the values of our brand,” she told AFP.
“The local franchisee in the country removed it,” she added. “We truly regret any hurt this may have caused.”
Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are currently on hunger strike over their conditions.
The post sparked fury on Palestinian social media, including calls to boycott the chain.
“Pizza Hut is ridiculing the prisoners’ strike,” activist Alaa Abu Diab wrote on Facebook, using the hashtag #boycott_pizzahut.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for boycotting Israel until it ends the occupation of Palestinian territories, said it supported calls to snub Pizza Hut.
“Pizza Hut’s mockery of leaders of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for freedom and dignity adds insult to deep injury,” said the BDS’s Mahmoud Nawajaa.
“We support grassroots Palestinian calls for a worldwide boycott of Pizza Hut, especially in the Arab world,” he wrote in an e-mail to AFP.


El Salvador court frees woman jailed for delivering stillborn

Evelyn Hernandez (C) is surrounded by activists after being released from the women's Readaptation Center, in Ilopango, El Salvador, on February 9, 2019, where she was serving a 30-year-sentence for aggravated homicide after her baby died at birth. (AFP)
Updated 16 February 2019
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El Salvador court frees woman jailed for delivering stillborn

  • Even women who abort due to birth defects or health complications risk jail sentences of up to 40 years in El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR: A Salvadoran court on Friday freed Evelyn Hernandez, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison after she gave birth to a stillborn baby at home.
After serving 33 months for aggravated homicide, 20-year-old Hernandez smiled as she was reunited with her parents and a brother in the capital San Salvador.
The court in Cojutepeque, east of the capital, ruled that she will be retried but while living at home. A hearing has been set for April 4, with a new judge, her lawyer Angelica Rivas said.
El Salvador has an extremely strict abortion ban. Hernandez gave birth in the makeshift bathroom of her home in the central Cuscatlan region. She was 18 years old and eight months pregnant.
She said her son was stillborn but was convicted of murdering him, abortion rights group ACDATEE said.
ACDATEE cited a pathologist’s report which it said indicated the baby had choked to death while still in the womb.
Prosecutors argued Hernandez was culpable for not having sought prenatal care, ACDATEE said.
The group said Hernandez had not known she was pregnant and gave birth on the toilet after feeling abdominal pains. She got pregnant as the result of a rape, which she did not report out of fear because her family had been threatened.
Even women who abort due to birth defects or health complications risk jail sentences of up to 40 years in El Salvador. Campaigners say some have been jailed after suffering miscarriages.
The country’s abortion law made international headlines in 2013 when a sick woman was forbidden from aborting a fetus which developed without a brain.
Under a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Salvadoran state eventually authorized her to undergo a cesarean section. The baby died shortly after the procedure.