'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Hunger Strike of Khader Adnan 

From al-Jazeera:

By the time you read these words, Khader Adnan could be dead. After 58 full days on hunger strike, his body is already well past the stage where his vital organs may cease to function at any moment. But Khader Adnan is dying to live.

The 33-year-old Palestinian baker, husband, father, and graduate student has refused food since December 18, a day after he was arrested in a nighttime raid on his family home by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank. He has lost over 40 kgs and his wife Randa and young daughters have described his appearance as shocking.

Adnan, whom Israel says is a member of Islamic Jihad, was given a four month administrative detention order by the Israeli military - meaning that he is held without being charged for any crime or trial, a practice continued by Israel that dates back to British colonial days.

Yesterday an Israeli military court rejected Adnan's appeal against the arbitrary detention. Having vowed to maintain his hunger strike until he is released or charged, the judge - an Israeli military officer - might as well have sentenced Khader Adnan to death, unless there is urgent international intervention.

Though the life in his body hangs on by a thread, his spirit is unbroken.

The Israeli occupation has gone to extremes against our people, especially prisoners, Adnan wrote in a letter published through his lawyer, I have been humiliated, beaten, and harassed by interrogators for no reason, and thus I swore to God I would fight the policy of administrative detention to which I and hundreds of my fellow prisoners fell prey.

According to Amnesty International, which has issued two urgent appeals on Adnan's behalf, as of December 31 last year, 307 Palestinians were in Israeli administrative detention, including 21 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council that was elected in January 2006.

I hereby assert that I am confronting the occupiers not for my own sake as an individual, but for the sake of thousands of prisoners who are being deprived of their simplest human rights while the world and international community look on, Adnan wrote in his letter.

In addition to Amnesty, Human Rights Watch too has heard Adnan's message, calling on Israel to release or charge him.

Hat tip to the Angry Arab.

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