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Feb-10-2012 16:28printcomments

Held by Israel 55 Days- Free Khader Adnan Now!

IRA hunger striker Tommy McKearney urges support.

Khader Adnan
Khader Adnan Courtesy:

(SALEM) - He is one of hundreds... Khader Adnan has been in Israeli custody since late last year, he's waging a hunger strike that hearkens back to other periods of resistance against occupation and apartheid laws. This, in Israel, where a religious government maintains one set of laws for Jewish citizens, and another for Palestinians like Adnan.

He is being held by Israel under an ambiguous charge known as Administrative Detention. The procedure allows Israel to hold detainees without charges and deny trial for periods of up to six months. The most grotesquely offensive part of this, is that this "legal process" can be renewed indefinitely.

In keeping with what one may expect, these 'administrative detainees' are people imprisoned on the basis of “secret evidence”. Of course also as one would expect from a government like this, the so-called 'secret information' is not made available to either the detainees, or their lawyers, therefore undermining their ability to effectively challenge the detention order.

According to Al-Haq:

Israel’s widespread practice of administrative detention, of which Khader is yet another victim, constitutes a serious breach of international humanitarian and human rights law. While administrative detention is allowed under international humanitarian law, it must be used only under exceptional circumstances as it infringes upon basic human rights, including right to a fair trial. Israel is currently detaining some 315 Palestinians without charge in administrative detention. This form of arbitrary arrest also contravenes Articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Petition Needs Signatures

Protest in D.C.

The new petition effort may raise the stakes against Israel which has firmly established itself as a nation that has almost no adherence to international law, one that also stands in stark violation of the world's nuclear treaties with an undisclosed arsenal of several hundred weapons pointed at its enemies. Click here to sign the petition.

A protest in Washington, DC's Dupont circle this week focused attention on this man's plight. It was held in spite of heavy rain and snow that left protesters drenched but determined.

The petition in support of Khader Adnan is addressed to Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs. This petition was started by Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

As explained by Al-Haq in their article, "My dignity is more precious than food" Palestinian Prisoner Enters 53rd Day of Hunger Strike" :

Most recent photo of Adnan, in court this week.

Khader was arrested on 17 December 2011 and has since been refusing food and medical treatment until he is granted release. On 8 January 2012, Israeli authorities issued a four-month administrative detention order, which was confirmed on 7 February 2012 by an Israeli military judge despite his worsening health condition.

Throughout his detention, Khader was subjected to degrading and inhuman treatment, including physical abuse, prolonged periods of interrogation, isolation and unsanitary conditions of detention. Khader has reportedly lost more than 20 kilograms and his health has deteriorated to a critical level. On 29 January 2012, Khader was examined by doctors from Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, who declared his life to be at risk. In the ten days that have passed since that visit he has been denied any further examination by independent doctors.

IRA Hunger Striker's Support

VIDEO: Former Irish hunger striker’s message
for Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner 55
days on hunger strike

Tommy McKearney, one of the participants of the legendary 1980-81 Irish hunger strikes has sent a video message of solidarity to Khader Adnan and his family. The following information is from Electronic Intifada.

Adnan, a Palestinian, has been on hunger strike ever since his 17 December detention without charge or trial by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank.

In the 3-minute video, McKearney begins his comments with these words:

My name is Tommy McKearney. I’m a former member of the IRA. Thirty two years ago I was on hunger strike for 53 days in the H Blocks. Today Khader Adnan will be 54 days on hunger strike. Held by the Israeli government on administrative detention, in other words without charge or conviction, he is battling against atrocious conditions and a very unjust system. His life is ebbing away in a very cruel and harsh regime. His conditions are hard, difficult and awful. The world must intervene to save this man’s life in the name of humanity, in the name of decency, in the name of justice and legality.

Fifty-four days on hunger strike his body is beginning to collapse. We can’t say for sure whether this man will be alive tonight or tomorrow night because at this stage he has passed a critical point in which a human body can survive without food or nourishment. His pain is enormous, but his plight is deplorable…

Khader Adnan in better times.

Bobby Sands of the Irish Republican Army

McKearney was among a group of seven Irish Republican prisoners who went on hunger strike at the notorious British-run Maze Prison in 1980. The following year 23 more prisoners, went on hunger strike. The strikes were sparked by punitive British conditions against political prisoners.

Ten of the men fasted until death, perhaps the best known of whom was Bobby Sands who died on 5 May 1981 after 66 days on hunger strike. Sands was 27 years old. The Irish hunger strikes attracted world-wide sympathy and became a symbol of the Irish struggle.

It can only be hoped that Khader knows how much people around the world care, and that includes Americans who are in spite of their government's actions, a very humane people by nature. I know this, I am one of them.

If you haven't yet, please click here to sign the petition.


Tim King in 2007, covering the Afghanistan War

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