Thousands of Palestinian
political prisoners languish in Israeli prisons. Virtually daily, more
arrests are made. Those incarcerated face torture, appalling prison
conditions, and other forms of abuse.
Some react in response. Khader did his way by refusing food for multiple
his rights and identity were violated;
his lawless arrest and abusive detention; and
Israel's illegal administrative detention system.
Addameer: Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association calls him a
"prisoner at risk."
In fact, by using his stomach as a weapon against injustice beyond what's
tolerable for most people, he's barely clinging to life. In his 51st
day without food (as of February 6), he's Palestine's longest ever hunger
According to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, after 42 days without
food, individuals begin losing their hearing and vision. They also suffer
bleeding in the gums, intestines and esophagus. The body gradually shuts
down. After 45 days, death's risked due to vascular system collapse
and/or cardiac arrest. Nearly a week later, he could expire anytime.
Rallies on his behalf display posters of his image with the statement:
"Dignity above food." A supportive Facebook page headlines, "We are
all Sheikh Khader Adnan(s)."
Throughout his ordeal, he reacted to his lawless arrest, indefinite
detention without charge, and abusive interrogations by silence and
During a third judicial review last week, a military prosecutor asked
a military judge before a lawless military tribunal to detain him uncharged
based on spurious allegations of subversive activity, citing secret
evidence unavailable to counsel.
In Occupied Palestine, Israel's kangaroo court system is rigged to convict.
Accusation alone determines guilt. Justice not only is denied, it's
mocked, spat on and trampled.
Reflecting his dire condition, six attorneys represented him, including
Jamil Khatib, Tamar Peleg, Mahmoud Halabi, Mahmoud Hassan, Jawad Boulos
and Nivin Hassan.
Without access to alleged classified materials, they're only able to
probe, guess, and hope for the best under a system showing no mercy.
When given the right to speak, Adnan said:
"I will begin with what happened just a few moments ago. You went out
to eat in rooms that are surely heated and comfortable. I went off to
the waiting caravan for detainees, despite my condition, and it was
very cold. The doctors tell me that perhaps because of the fluctuating
heat and cold, I might quickly develop cardiac problems."
On January 31, Israel's Prison Service transferred him to a Bnei Brak
hospital, chained to his bed, his arms and legs bound despite his frailty.
Three guards monitored him round the clock. They mocked him. In his
room, "they reach(ed) under the pillow and joke(d) about how I might
be hiding food," he said.
"I have a Koran which I read, holding it with a cuffed hand. Yesterday
I prayed in a chair with my arms and legs bound.” When told his life's
endangered, he agreed to take potassium tablets and was returned to
Prison Service detention.
Throughout his ordeal, he's been denied contact with family members.
On January 6, the Palestine News Network (PNN) said he was transferred
to Jerusalem's Bikur Holim Hospital because of his deteriorating health.
One of his lawyers said he was admitted to its cardiothoracic department
because his life's in grave danger. He added that Israeli authorities
gave him only three minutes to meet with his client. He explained that
his hands and one leg were cuffed.
Doctors expressed alarm about his condition, saying he's been vomiting
"gastric juice" from his stomach and appendix.
Palestinian Prisoner Society President Qadura Fares expressed concern
for his life. He urged everyone to act on his behalf. When asked, Adnan
stressed his desire to live but not under repressive Israeli detention.
Qadura also announced a February 7 protest solidarity campaign in Palestine's
governorates with all institutions participating if Israel won't release
him. His lawyers will also boycott Israel's military courts where Palestinians
are denied justice.
On February 6, Ma'an News said Adnan's father, Musa (an elderly man),
announced joining his son's hunger strike Monday in solidarity with
He was transferred again to Zeif Hospital in northern Israel and virtually
isolated to prevent reports of his condition coming out. In response,
supporters called for five minutes of work and traffic stoppages, as
well as West Bank marches on his behalf.
On February 4, Palestinian prisoner affairs minister Issa Qaraqe said
hundreds of Ofer Prison detainees launched supportive disobedience actions
in protest. They returned food, refused outdoor breaks, and abstained
from medical treatment. Others refused to eat altogether. As a result,
Israel put eight detainees in punitive isolation.
Millions of Palestinians now know, respect and support Adnan. They also
condemn Israel's shocking mistreatment and willingness to let an innocent
man suffer and die.
If so, he'll be martyred for heroically resisting injustice. He'll also
inspire others to emulate his spirit until Palestine's liberated and
free. Nothing less is tolerable now or ever.
A Final Comment
Adnan's heroism contrasts with longtime Yemeni despot Ali Abdullah Saleh.
For decades, he enforced tyranny on Yemen's people. Post-9/11, he partnered
in America's war on terror and worst crimes, including drone strikes
killing Yemeni civilians.
America trained his security forces in techniques of repression and
brutality. Last February, Yeminis rebelled. At issue, is repression,
unemployment, poverty, massive government corruption, and unmet human
needs. A year later, nothing changed.
Demonstrations continue daily. In response, security forces brutalize
and murder protesters. They want Saleh out, prosecuted, imprisoned,
and a government of their own choosing replacing him and his corrupt
Last June, his presidential compound was bombed. Severely injured, he
received medical treatment and convalescent time in Saudi Arabia for
months before returning. Rage accompanied his arrival.
In late January, Saleh arrived in New York. Major media scoundrels alleged
more medical treatment was needed. Earlier, he admitted he's fine, saying:
"I will go to the United States. Not for treatment because I'm fine,
but to get away from attention, cameras, and allow (a so-called) unity
government to prepare properly for elections."
Yemenis oppose the arrangement leaving Saleh's repressive apparatus
in place. Moreover, close regime allies control it. He got blanket immunity.
As a result, demands to prosecute him are ignored.
At the same time, he freely entered New York. Even Human Rights Watch
"It's appalling that President Saleh arrives in the US (while) hundreds
of Yemeni victims are left devastated" without justice from his crimes.
Obama officials "should insist those responsible for atrocities in Yemen
be brought to the dock," starting, of course, with Saleh.
Washington Yemen ambassador Gerald Feierstein lied saying, he got a
visa for medical reasons. The State Department said, "Saleh is still
the president of Yemen and will be accorded those privileges and immunities
accorded to any head of state."
In contrast, America’s State Department demanded regime change and/or
prosecutions of Slobadan Milosevic, Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad, Armadinejad,
Sudan's Omar al-Bashir, Hezbollah, Hamas, Chavez, Castro, and other
leaders it opposes.
At the same time, it openly endorses cooperative despots. Saleh's one
of the worst. Yet he's comfortably ensconced at New York's Ritz-Carlton
amidst opulent surroundings.
Nonetheless, word of his presence got around. Emerging outside with
bodyguards, crowds protested. One man tried hurling his shoe, but was
arrested for disorderly conduct.
According to Ibraham Qatabi, Yemeni American Coalition for Change (YACC)
spokesman, another man nearly hit him.
On February 2, YACCs press conference condemned Saleh's visit, saying:
"The Yemeni-American community," American Arabs and New Yorkers "have
come here today to express deep disappointment with the Obama administration
for allowing" Saleh's visit, "a dictator with the blood of peaceful
protesters on his hands."
In the past year alone, he and supporters "murdered, injured, kidnapped
and tortured countless Yemeni citizens....For the past 33 years, he
has thwarted the freedom and the rights that he promised to safeguard..."
Obama spurned calls for Adnan's release and Yemeni protesters, "and,
instead chose to side with a dictator (who's afforded) protect(ion)
in New York."
Washington's hypocrisy is scandalous. Obama's one of its worst ever
practitioners. He's also a serial liar, war criminal multiple times
over, and moral coward.
Imagine what's planned in a second term if reelected. What better reason's
needed to spurn America's duopoly, vote independent, or not at all.
Otherwise, ticking bomb conditions will escalate until they explode.
Bet on it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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