Take Action – Join hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners to say: End Administrative Detention

From Samidoun:

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Five Palestinian prisoners held in administrative detention without charge or trial in Israeli jails are about to enter their second week on hunger strike, demanding an end to administrative detention. Take Action to support the hunger strikers and call for freedom for administrative detainees!

Nidal Abu Aker, Ghassan Zawahreh, Shadi Ma’ali, Badr al-Ruzza, and Munir Abu Sharar launched their hunger strike on 20 August 2015, protesting their administrative detention without charge or trial. All have had their arbitrary detention orders renewed multiple times. On Monday, 31 August, they were removed from their prison cells and thrown into isolation – Abu Aker in Asqelan, Zawahreh and Ma’ali in Ella prison, and Ruzzah and Abu Sharar in the Naqab prison.

Khader Adnan supports the hunger strikers.

Khader Adnan supports the hunger strikers.

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association reported that the five have consumed only liquids since 20 August and are boycotting the occupation military courts along with 50 other administrative detainees, exposing the sham nature of these hearings relying on secret information that neither Palestinian prisoners or their lawyer can review. “Addameer calls upon solidarity organizations, human rights organizations and individuals all around the world to join the campaign to end administrative detention while emphasizing the necessity of popular support for Palestinian prisoners and detainees,” the organization urged.

In addition, Kayed Fawzi Abu Rish, 42, from Nablus, has been on hunger strike for 26 days. Held in administrative detention since December 2014, the order against him was renewed in June 2015 for an additional six months. He was transferred to hospital yesterday after being held in isolation in Megiddo prison.

Prisoner support tent at the entrance to Dheisheh refugee camp.

Prisoner support tent at the entrance to Dheisheh refugee camp.

There are approximately 480 Palestinians held without charge or trial in administrative detention in Israeli prisons. Israeli military commanders issue orders for up to one to six months of detention, which are indefinitely renewable. Introduced in Palestine by the British colonial authority, administrative detention is used in a routine and frequent manner. According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies, 85% of administrative detention orders are renewed at least once. Israel’s widespread and systematic use of administrative detention violates the Geneva Conventions and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The five detainees have been on hunger strike for thirteen days and are about to enter their third week on strike, while Abu Rish is nearing a month on strike. They are demanding an end to administrative detention in this “Battle of Breaking the Chains.” They are threatened not only by the risks to their health and lives by hunger striking, but also threatened with the new Israeli force-feeding law that legitimizes force-feeding torture against hunger striking prisoners, which led to the death of four Palestinian hunger strikers in the 1970s and 1980s.

Video (Press TV News report):

Layla (Um Samer) Issawi and Malika (Um Nidal) Abu Aker, mothers of Palestinian prisoners

Layla (Um Samer) Issawi and Malika (Um Nidal) Abu Aker, mothers of Palestinian prisoners

In Dheisheh refugee camp, the home of three of the strikers, a permanent solidarity tent has been set up.

Khader Adnan, former administrative detainee who won his freedom twice through long-term hunger strikes, visited the solidarity tent and met with members of the prisoners’ families; Layla (Um Samer) Issawi also met with the strikers’ families, urging support and solidarity with the strike. She is the mother of Samer, Shireen and Medhat Issawi, all imprisoned in Israeli jails; Samer was previously freed in a long-term hunger strike.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its strongest solidarity with the striking prisoners, and calls for international actions, mobilizations and events to demand their freedom. We cannot wait until these brave strugglers are facing death to act and demand not only their freedom as individuals, but the abolition of administrative detention – on the road to freeing every Palestinian prisoner held in Israeli occupation jails. It is not the case that Israeli military courts are any more legitimate, fair or acceptable than administrative detention – they are just as arbitrary, racist and illegitimate. But administrative detention is a weapon of mass terror used against the Palestinian people, and it is critical to bring this practice to an end. These Palestinian prisoners have put their bodies on the line in order to end administrative detention – and it is imperative that we act to support them. These prisoners’ struggle is not only about their individual freedom – it is part of their struggle for return and liberation for Palestine.

Take Action!

1. Sign on to this statement in support of the prisoners’ demand to End Administrative Detention. Organizational and individual endorsements are welcome – and organizational endorsements particularly critical – in support of the prisoners’ demands and their actions. Click here to sign or sign below: http://bit.ly/EndAdministrativeDetention

2. Send a solidarity statement. The support of people around the world helps to inform people about the struggle of Palestinian prisoners. It is a morale booster and helps to build political solidarity. Please send your solidarity statements to samidoun@samidoun.net. They will be published and sent directly to the prisoners.

3. Hold a solidarity one-day hunger strike in your area. Gather in a tent or central area, bring materials about Palestinian prisoners and hold a one-day solidarity strike to raise awareness and provide support for the struggle of the prisoners and the Palestinian cause. Please email us at samidoun@samidoun.net to inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.

4. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy in your area.  Bring posters and flyers about administrative detention and Palestinian hunger strikers and hold a protest, or join a protest with this important information. Hold a community event or discussion, or include this issue in your next event about Palestine and social justice. Please email us at samidoun@samidoun.net to inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.

5. Contact political officials in your country – members of Parliament or Congress, or the Ministry/Department of Foreign Affairs or State – and demand that they cut aid and relations with Israel on the basis of its apartheid practices, its practice of colonialism, and its numerous violations of Palestinian rights including the systematic practice of administrative detention. Demand they pressure Israel to free the hunger strikers and end administrative detention.

6. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. G4S, a global security corporation, is heavily involved in providing services to Israeli prisons that jail Palestinian political prisoners – there is a global call to boycott itPalestinian political prisoners have issued a specific call urging action on G4S. Learn more about BDS at bdsmovement.net.

 

Palestinian prisoners on fifth day of hunger strike to end administrative detention

From Samidoun:

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Munir Abu Sharar

The first six Palestinian administrative detainees to launch the collective hunger strike in Negev prison in the Naqab desert – who will be joined by new batches of detainees in the coming weeks and days – are now entering their fifth day of hunger strike. 250 Palestinians held without charge or trial in Israeli prisons have announced their intention to join the collective hunger strike against the policy of administrative detention.

The first six Palestinians to launch the strike are: Nidal Abu Aker, Ghassan Zawahreh, Shadi Ma’ali, Munir Abu Sharar, Bader El-Razzah and Thabet Nassar. On Sunday, 23 August, they rejected a request from the Israeli prison administration to postpone their strike for a week, in which the prison administration would study their individual cases with the intelligence service and provide individual answers. They responded with their rejection of this offer, stressing that their goal is to end the policy of administrative detention and demand their immediate release, while on the other hand the prison administration has isolated the strikers in an attempt to pressure them and isolate them from the Palestinian people.

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Nidal Abu Aker (top), Ghassan Zawahreh (right), Shadi Ma’ali (left)

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Protest tent in solidarity with the strikers being set up at the entrance to Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem

The prisoners stated that this confirms that the occupation and its intelligence service are recognizing at an early stage the seriousness of this battle and the support the prisoners will receive.

Former prisoner Adnan Hamarsheh issued a call for unified action to support the detainees, urging the construction of a permanent sit-in tent in each area raising the Palestinian flag to support the prisoners, weekly marches and press conferences updating on the prisoners’ situation, monthly workshops on the prisoners, and the involvement of schools and universities at all levels in the campaign to end administrative detention.

The striking prisoners issued a statement on their struggle:

Battle of Breaking the Chains

We enter the open hunger strike strongly and collectively with our aim to bring down administrative detention. This goal is at the forefront of our demands and is a priority to raise our collective struggle as a strategic challenge to the racist, fascist law which allows our people to be detained for long periods of time – for ten years and more over multiple arrests without charges, with no right to defend themselves in a fair trial, while the “process” is a sham intended to beautify the image of the occupation and its intelligence.

We believe that our demands must focus on the basis of the problem and not just its ramifications, in that we are aiming to bring down administrative detention as a law and as a policy which at this moment is depriving 480 administrative detainees and thousands of our imprisoned people of their freedom for many years throughout the occupation of our land.

Although we have clearly identified our goals, we in no way believe that this fight is easy, indeed it is even more difficult. Enough is enough, and we know that the occupier will tighten its grip over our main demand and will use all kinds of fascist tactics in order to thwart us from achieving our goal, but we know that the masses of our people and their organizations and institutions will be the first engine to build local, Arab and international pressure to build a broader case against the occupation and the policy of administrative detention and force the occupier to give in to our demands. Although we are convinced with ourselves to fight this battle and determined to win, despite our awareness of the difficulty and the severity to come, we aim to achieve our goals and should focus all efforts in order to involve more administrative detainees in this action as well as building the Palestinian popular movement support, the Arab masses’ support, and international support, all for the purpose of achieving victory and the best results in this battle.

The liberation of each of us is a right and a requirement, but as a target by itself it does not achieve our general interests: the occupation is easily able to turn around and re-arrest any of us after a brief period of freedom under the same policy of administrative detention.

We are not individual heroes and do not claim that we alone can achieve the strategic victory to bring down this policy, but we are determined to go into this fight until the last, and we are aware that the battle is open to all possibilities, our victory or our martyrdom for the sake of a strategically important achievement. Perhaps we may achieve part of our demands; in this case we will have fought our battle with honor and dignity. We are fighting a difficult and tiring battle to destabilize the whole system of arbitrary administrative detention. This battle aims to achieve the freedom of hundreds of administrative detainees held each year under the pretext of the “secret file” and the prosecution of the Zionist security forces.

This step comes in the context of the progressive and escalating struggle since the beginning of July, with the boycott of the occupation courts, we have continued this boycott and the occupation is attempting to pressure us by renewing our administrative detention for longer periods, and we know that the occupation recognizes the importance of this action in eroding and exposing its policy. We also emphasize the importance of breaking the force-feeding law, which is a decision for execution and forces us to escalate the pace of our struggle to bring down administrative detention. Our action now is “banging on the walls of the tank” [in reference to Ghassan Kanafani’s “Men in the Sun”] and opening the path for greater participation by administrative detainees and engaging all of the energies of our people at popular and official levels, and all of our international and regional friends and supporters to achieve victory in this battle, and in the long battle to remove the occupation from our land, our sea and our people forever.

250 Palestinian prisoners held in administrative detention state they will launch open hunger strike

From Samidoun:

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250 Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention in the “Negev” prison in the Naqab desert in the south of Palestine announced they will launch an open-ended hunger strike to defeat administrative detention. The statement, released on 18 August, also expressed support for their fellow administrative detainee, Muhammad Allan, 31, who just ended his 65-day hunger strike last night, 19 August, after a decision by the Israeli supreme court and severe damage to his health including brain damage; Allan is now again in a coma.

250 of the nearly 400 Palestinian administrative detainees are held in the Negev prison, among 1500 Palestinian political prisoners. Much of the Negev prison is constructed in tents, and Palestinian prisoners are suffering in a heat wave, with blazing sun and little protection from the elements.

Nidal Abu Aker, 49, a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine from Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, is one of the leaders of the administrative detainees’ initiative, according to Ma’an News. The host of “In their cells,” a program about Palestinian prisoners that airs on Sawt al-Wihda radio station – the only radio station to broadcast from Dheisheh camp – he has spent 12 years in Israeli prisons, 9 years in administrative detention without charge or trial. He was most recently arrested in June 2014 and his administrative detention has been renewed four times, most recently in May.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes these brave prisoners, who are putting their bodies and lives on the line to confront the occupier and its continual assaults on Palestinian lives. We demand their immediate release, the end of administrative detention – and the liberation of all of the nearly 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners. We pledge to act to build solidarity with their struggle, and urge all around the world to organize protests, actions and events to demand the release of Palestinian political prisoners and an end to administrative detention.

The statement of the 250 administrative detainees follows:

The Battle of Breaking the Chains

To the masses of our great people, the heroes of revolution, the fiery fuel of confrontation of the Zionist occupation and the fascist colonists, to our youth, our mothers and sisters; our struggle does not relent because of your sacrifices. We greet you for Palestine.

Today we face the escalating Zionist attacks against our people in general and against the rights of our Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, and massive harassment, frenzied campaigns of inspections and raids and the denial of the most basic rights of living that provide a minimum of human dignity. We face the continuation of the Palestinian division and its impact on the reality of our national movement in the prisons of the occupier. And we face the persistence of the occupier in enacting new fascist and racist laws, such as the law of death and the law of force-feeding which was recently passed, and the growing use of administrative detention. It represents a clear and explicit violation of all international conventions and human rights principles, where we are arrested for extended periods, for years continuously, at the mercy of a so-called “secret file,” where we have no right to defend ourselves. Administrative detention is a sword hanging over our necks, that eats away our flesh and blood and years of our lives without trial and without mercy.

It is used relentlessly by the enemy intelligence service and by the military courts. There have been more than 480 administrative detention orders issued, the number of administrative detainees rising to a height of 650 since just last summer. Most administrative detainees have their detention orders renewed more than once. Some have spent more than five years and others ten years in administrative detention over repeated arrests. In light of this detention, we consider ourselves to be in a continuing struggle of confrontation with the occupier.

Therefore, we have made our first step in confronting this form of arrest: boycotting the occupation courts issuing administrative detention orders, fully and finally, to reveal and expose the occupation before our people, our Arab nation and international public opinion, where the occupier attempts to legitimize its detention of us.

Through dialogue and discussion between all administrative detainees of all political forces, with the commitment of 80 detainees we began to act from the date of 1 July 2015, where we boycotted the Zionist military courts and refused to appear because they are am illegitimate sham. We were denied the right to access our lawyers, denying us the right to a defense and representation.

We view this as a step that advances the prisoners’ movement in confronting administrative detention, to stand up and play our national role in confronting the arbitrary administrative detention. Some administrative detainees have undertaken individual hunger strikes in protest of administrative detention in general and their personal detention, as is their right. Despite this, we view the collective action on a national level is more capable of creating real results to break the policy of administrative detention. However, the endangered life of Mohammad Allan since two months has confronted the occupation and its tools, and is threatened with the implementation of a decision of force-feeding. We resolve to fight against the occupation and its intelligence apparatus in the battle of empty stomachs, in order to achieve the following demands:

1. The end of the administrative detention policy against our people and their strugglers.
2. The support to the struggler Muhammad Allan; we will not leave him alone in the battle. We refuse any decision that does not provide his freedom, and we refuse any decision to deport him, which is another violation of human rights.
3. Bringing down the law of force-feeding against activists on hunger strike, as it represents a decision for their death and a flagrant violation of international human rights principles.
4. Our immediate freedom and unconditional release, as a contribution to the demolition of the policy of administrative detention.
5. To break the deadlock and internal division, and to unify the Palestinian forces for joint national action inside the prisons, culminating in true national unity.

To the struggling masses of our people, we face a complex reality that already sees a number of striking prisoners threatened with death at the hands of the prison administration and intelligence services. We cannot stand idly by and observe from afar, our will and action is united with the popular and national movement and support from the Palestinian street. We emphasize that we are with you and without your support, we cannot achieve our demands. Without you, Palestine will not enjoy its freedom, independence and the return of her children.

You and your will are great, and your participation will bring victories and the rights of our people. You are with us as we are fighting our battle in confronting the occupation, and we are inevitably victorious.

Breaking News: Rasmea Odeh

Rasmea sentenced to 18 months, but is coming home!

http://samidoun.net/2015/03/rasmea-sentenced-to-18-months-but-is-coming-home/

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Over the objections of a prosecution team that called for 5-7 years in federal prison, a harsh sentence with terrorism enhancements, Judge Gershwin Drain sentenced Rasmea Odeh, Chicago’s 67-year-old Palestinian community leader, to 18 months for Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, of which she was convicted last November.

Almost 200 of Rasmea’s supporters filled two courtrooms in the Detroit federal courthouse, and left disappointed but not defeated.  “This is a blow, of course, but we have to remember that the government wanted the judge to lock Rasmea up for half a decade or more,” said Muhammad Sankari of the national Rasmea Defense Committee.  “Judge Drain had to weigh the outpouring of support that Rasmea has inspired from across the country. We made it impossible for the judge to justify an extended prison term, and now, we will stand with her in the fight to appeal the conviction itself, to make sure she doesn’t serve one day of that prison sentence.”

The decision came after her attorneys argued that she not be imprisoned at all.  Seventy important leaders of unions and community-based, faith-based, civil rights, and student organizations, as well as prominent academics and activists, wrote letters to the judge in the past few weeks, urging him to issue a sentence with no prison time beyond the month Rasmea served in a county jail following the November verdict.  They cited her invaluable service as a community leader in Chicago, as well as concerns for her age, poor health, and chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

One of the many letters of support came from Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of Detroit.  He wrote, “I am asking for compassion in her sentencing. Rasmea has much to offer her community…keeping her out of prison would allow her to continue as a contributing and productive person, doing the work that is so critical to hundreds of refugee women.”

For their part, prosecutors called for Judge Drain to issue a sentence far beyond standard sentencing guidelines. While prosecutors had been barred from branding her a terrorist in front of the jury last year, today they were bound by no such court orders, asking that a terrorism enhancement be added to prolong her sentence.

Frank Chapman of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression said, “The government showed their true colors today, making it clear this case was never about immigration, but rather, the political persecution of a Palestinian hero. What they didn’t bargain for is that Rasmea would defend herself, and that thousands would rally around her.”

During the trial last year, Rasmea was prevented from presenting evidence about the events that led to her conviction by an Israeli military tribunal 45 years ago.  Judge Drain had ruled that the circumstances of conviction by Israel didn’t matter.  “Not the illegal 1967 massacres and occupation – let alone the military ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians from the land and their homes when Palestine was partitioned in 1948 – not the midnight sweeps and kidnapping by the invading Army after the 1967 war, not the torture, not the kangaroo court and false confessions, not the prison time,” said her attorneys in filings to the court.

“Be strong whatever happens,” Rasmea said before speaking to the judge, “I am strong.”

After the sentencing, Rasmea was released on bond, as she sets out to appeal her conviction.  Surprising many, the prosecution did not object, despite having pressed for her bond to be revoked after the guilty verdict.  She credits the work of her supporters across the country for forcing the government’s hand.

Zena Ozeir of the Z Collective in Detroit said, “I have no doubt Rasmea’s freedom today is owed to the public outcry against her persecution. The government is still out to lock her up for years, but that is something they couldn’t win today. We have been with her at every hearing and trial date, we’ve held protests across the country, and flooded their phone lines and mail boxes, with people of conscience demanding an end to this prosecution, and an end to her unjust treatment in jail this fall.  We will not stop until we win justice for Rasmea!”

After today’s hearing, Rasmea returns to Chicago, where she will continue her important community activism and work with her attorneys on an appeal of the verdict.  If Odeh loses her case on appeal, she will have to serve the full sentence, and then lose her citizenship and be subject to immediate removal from the United States.

Rasmea Defense Committee

justice4rasmea.org

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Rasmea Odeh and the war on Palestinian existence and identity:

http://samidoun.net/2015/03/rasmea-odeh-and-the-war-on-palestinian-existence-and-identity/

Charlotte Kates, coordinator of Samidoun, shared the following thoughts after the sentencing of Palestinian community leader Rasmea Odeh in Detroit in U.S. courts. Odeh, associate director of the Arab American Action Network, founder of the Arab Women’s Committee, and former political prisoner in Israeli jails, was sentenced by Judge Gershwin Drain to 18 months imprisonment, $1100 in fines, the stripping of her U.S. citizenship and deportation to Jordan, on one count of unlawful procurement of naturalization. She was found guilty in a trial in which she was forbidden to disclose that she had been tortured and raped by Israeli interrogators to extract a confession.

In the hearing (livetweeted at http://twitter.com/nfwazwaz) both prosecutor Jonathan Tukel and – perhaps more troublingly – Judge Drain, introduced and focused on themes of “terrorism” in an attempt to criminalize Rasmea. Kates’ comments, and links to the two Palestinian and Arab films introduced in the hearing by Tukel, follow:

“Rasmea’s sentencing hearing was incredibly troubling today for several reasons – beyond even the sentencing of a torture survivor, a leader and an icon to the Palestinian community. It is a victory in some ways that Rasmea is coming home to her community, despite the attempts at demonization pushed by prosecutor Tukel, including references to ISIS, and deeming her an “icon in the terrorist world”. (She is in fact an icon of the Palestinian community and all communities and movements struggling for justice and liberation.) She has a wonderful legal team who will fight vigorously for her case. And the prosecution’s attempt to push for a sentence 3-4x the standard sentencing guidelines was rejected.

But in this sentencing hearing, while Rasmea was barred from discussing her torture and rape during trial – and was today censured for breaking that gag during trial by Judge Drain – the prosecution not only used her confession extracted through torture and the prison sentence extracted through torture, but Rasmea’s own public documentation and discussion of her torture at the hands of the Israeli military against her.

Drain uncritically accepted the framework of “terrorist” to describe Palestinian armed resistance – an absolute right of a people under occupation. He uncritically ascribed the word “terrorist” to “being a member of the PFLP” (in 1969, decades before the US had a “foreign terrorist organizations” list). He then contrasted this “terrorist” past, which he alleged Rasmea has, to her “reformed” present, her admirable work organizing with the Palestinian and Arab community, especially women. He said Rasmea “changed.” That community organizing is the opposite of armed resistance – when, regardless of the facts of this case, it is absolutely not. Both armed resistance and community organizing are driven by love and service to the people. They are part of one struggle and one resistance to occupation. In some ways, the torture dens of the occupier are more honest – there are, of course, thousands of Palestinian community organizers in prison and who have been imprisoned as “members of hostile organizations” because they convened women, students and workers. Because this too is the work of every Palestinian political party labelled as “terrorist.”

Furthermore, the prosecution, in a form of “guilt by association,” in a racist display, in a criminalization of Palestinian memory and existence, displayed clips from two films. This is so disturbing because they are wonderful films. Excellent films, created by Palestinian and Arab women filmmakers, telling the stories of Palestinian and Arab women in resistance – of all kinds. These films, “WOMEN IN STRUGGLE” and “TELL YOUR TALE, LITTLE BIRD” are documents of the Palestinian narrative. They are presenting a history and a legacy for generations to come. They are films that deserve to be seen everywhere. And it is difficult to see the attempt of the prosecution to use these beautiful testimonies as “evidence” against Rasmea as something other than an attempt to suppress, silence and censor just such Palestinian documentation, memory-making, recording, oral and written history by using them for the opposite purpose for which they were intended – as some sort of “testimony” (inadmissible at trial) against the very Palestinian women whose stories they bring forward. Is such use of these films an attempt to strike fear in the heart of researchers, historians and documentarians? To wage war on the Palestinian narrative – and a woman who has always ceaselessly, courageously and clearly represented that narrative – and its memories and legacies? Rasmea’s story, her voice, will NOT be silenced, by this unjust verdict. And despite the games of the prosecutors, neither will the histories and memories – and the future – of the Palestinian struggle for liberation.

The films are available on youtube. Everyone should watch them. Screen them. Show your friends, show your families, your comrades. Hear their voices and amplify them. Jonathan Tukel does not own these voices – the Palestinian liberation movement includes, cherishes and highlights them.”

WOMEN IN STRUGGLE (2004, Buthaina Canaan Khoury):

TELL YOUR TALE LITTLE BIRD (2007, Arab Loutfi):

Call to Action: 13th anniversary of PA imprisonment by Ahmad Sa’adat: Free Palestinian prisoners, end security coordination

December 29th, Samidoun:

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat issued the following statement calling for international actions to demand freedom for imprisoned Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat (who was just subject to an Israeli military order banning him from family visits for three more months) and all Palestinian prisoners, and to demand an end to Palestinian Authority security coordination with Israel, on January 15. Actions are already planned in Italy:

January 15, 2015 marks the 13th anniversary of the capture and imprisonment through deception of Palestinian political leader Ahmad Sa’adat at the hands of Palestinian Authority security forces. On January 15-25, 2015, please join the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat in demanding freedom for Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners and an end to PA security coordination with Israel! (Events are already scheduled in Italy – more to come soon!)

On January 15, 2002, Ahmad Sa’adat, Palestinian leader and General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was abducted by Palestinian Authority security services in Ramallah, joining several of his comrades already seized by the Palestinian Authority, following a fraudulent invitation to a meeting by then-PA security official Tawfiq Tirawi. Captured at the behest of Israeli occupying forces, Sa’adat and his comrades wereheld for over four years in the Palestinian Authority’s prison in Jericho, under U.S. and British guards. During that time, Sa’adat was never charged and even the PA’s high court ordered his release: but the demands of Israel, the U.S. and Britain kept him and his comrades behind bars in a Palestinian Authority prison until the prison itself was attacked and the Palestinians held there seized by Israeli military forces on March 14, 2006.

The political imprisonment of Ahmad Sa’adat is perhaps the highest-profile case of what security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority means for Palestinians. Palestinian political activists are detained, questioned and imprisoned by the hundreds by PA security services – based on complaints from Israeli occupation forces – or for “insulting” PA officials on facebook or other social media. In addition, the United States, Canada and theEuropean Union have poured millions of dollars into funding this “security coordination” at the expense of the Palestinian people.

For too many Palestinian political prisoners, Palestinian Authority detention and interrogation has become a “revolving door” with Israeli jails, political imprisonment, and administrative detention without charge or trial. Political prisoners are interrogated upon their release from Israeli jails by PA security forces, while Palestinian activists released from PA custody are frequently once again arrested by Israeli occupation military forces. The military assault and abduction of Sa’adat and his comrades from the PA prison in Jericho, where he was held under US and British guard, to an Israeli prison, is perhaps the most visible example – coming, as it did, after reports that incoming PA officials elected in 2006 might refuse to continue to illegally detain Sa’adat and his comrades.

PA security coordination is part and parcel of the Oslo process, which has been disastrous for the Palestinian people. Rather than leading to any form of real rights, self-determination or independence, the Oslo process and repeated negotiations have created a Palestinian security service that works not to protect the Palestinian people from Israeli military attacks, colonial settler assaults and violence against land and people, but instead to protect the occupier from the legitimate resistance of a colonized people under occupation.

Meanwhile, that occupation force has only escalated its mass imprisonment against the Palestinian people and their leaders. Ahmad Sa’adat has been denied family visits for the past three months – and prohibited from family visits for three months more to come. The denial of family visits is being used as a weapon against Palestinian political prisoners and as a method of collective punishment against Palestinian families; it is a new form of isolation being imposed upon Sa’adat and other Palestinian leaders in an attempt to break their will and the will of the Palestinian people. Over 1,000 Palestinians have been sent to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, in 2014, and there are over 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli occupation prisons.

We demand freedom for all Palestinian political prisoners! End PA Security Coordination with Israel! Stop the denial of family visits!

Use the form to let the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat know about your local action or email us at campaign@freeahmadsaadat.org. We will list your events on the Campaign website and publicize them. (Italy day of action scheduled now)

Suggested actions:

  1. Protest at your local Israeli consulate or embassy demanding freedom for Palestinian political prisoners.
  2. Protest at official Palestinian embassies and missions demanding an end to security coordination.
  3. Phone Palestinian officials at the embassy in your country and call for an end to security coordination with Israel.
  4. Distribute flyers or handbills about Ahmad Sa’adat and Palestinian prisoners, and security cooperation
  5. Post or drop a banner calling for freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat and Palestinian prisoners in your city.
  6. Hold a forum or educational event on Ahmad Sa’adat and Palestinian prisoners’ struggle.

For assistance and support in your activities, please contact the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat at campaign@freeahmadsaadat.org.

Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
http://freeahmadsaadat.org
info@freeahmadsaadat.org
Twitter: @FreeAhmadSaadat

Palestinian community leader Hatem Abudayyeh and supporters claim victory

http://www.fightbacknews.org/2011/5/10/palestinian-community-leader-hatem-abudayyeh-and-supporters-claim-victory


Bank returns money, government involvement alleged
By Committee to Stop FBI Repression and Coalition to Protect People’s Rights |
May 10, 2011
Read more articles in FBI Repression

On Friday, May 6th, the bank accounts of Hatem and Naima Abudayyeh of Chicago were frozen. The bank manager at the TCF (Twin Cities Federal) branch could not explain what had happened but stated that the Bank Security Act prevented him from releasing any assets.

In a strange turn of events, the bank admitted today that they shut down the accounts, stating they no longer want to provide banking services to the Abudayyeh family. Simultaneously, TCF management informed the Abudayyehs today that they were issuing them a check for the value of their accounts.

Hatem Abudayyeh is one of 23 anti-war, Palestinian and international solidarity activists who have been subpoenaed to a federal grand jury in Chicago. Many supporters of the Abudayyehs and the 23 activists suspected that the FBI and grand jury investigation against these activists was the cause of the seizure of the couple’s accounts.
Continue reading

Students for Justice in Palestine Condemns US Government Witch Hunt

Press release, Students for Justice in Palestine, 29 December 2010

The following press release was issued by the Students for Justice in Palestine (US) on 29 December 2010:

“For if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.”
– James Baldwin, in an open letter to Angela Davis, 19 November 1970

As students at over fifty American universities, we unequivocally condemn the abuse of grand jury subpoenas to chill the exercise of First Amendment rights by university students and anti-war activists speaking and organizing against Israel’s continued oppression of the Palestinian people. Since 24 September 2010, the FBI has served at least 24 grand jury subpoenas on students and activists in a secret investigation that many have called a witch hunt. We call upon Attorney General Eric Holder and United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to respect the civil rights and free speech of all those who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom by immediately withdrawing grand jury subpoenas which threaten the First Amendment rights of students and activists around the country.

The government’s assault on organizations and individuals who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom has become increasingly authoritarian. The abuse of laws criminalizing “material support for terrorism” is unprecedented and, had they been implemented at the time of South African apartheid, would have effectively criminalized broad American support for the anti-apartheid movement. At the apparent behest of US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the government today has cast a net so wide that it has entangled journalists, college students, and peace activists. We know that a campaign so indiscriminate will seriously impinge on the First Amendment and other civil rights of people living in the United States. This will, in particular, affect active and outspoken students on university campuses, especially those of Palestinian descent.
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