After 55 days of hunger strike MSM finally reports on Khader Adnan

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
on 15 Comments
Khader protest
Ramallah protest in solidarity with Khader Adnan. (Photo:  Majdi Mohammed/AP)

This is an updated version of an article that was originally published 2/7/2012 on Mondoweiss

It is day 55 of Khader Adnan’s hunger strike.  After pleas from a Twitter campaigns (#Dying2Live), and calls from human rights organizations, mainstream finally noticed the longest single-man hunger strike in history. The articles came on the same day as Adnan’s last military court appeal, where it will be decided today if his imprisonment without charge will be upheld.

Screen shot 2012 02 09 at 2 57 18 PM
Screen shot.

Ma’an News Agency reported the “special session” took place in an Israeli hospital, where Adnan is currently shackled to a bed. 

In addition to the unconventional court session, two days ago Israeli authorities also unexpectedly granted Adnan a 30-minute family visit, in which his wife witnessed her frail husband vomiting blood and said:

‘he couldn’t pick up our daughter. He has no strength in his arms.’  

Randa, Adnan’s five-month pregnant wife, added that her husband’s physical condition was “horrifying.” Adnan is 33, a father of two, a baker and is pursuing a Masters degree in Economics. Also present during the family visit, Prisoner advocacy organization Addameer (though Adnan’s attorney was barred) said:

‘He is incredibly small and his clothes haven’t been changed and he hasn’t showered since being arrested. His nails haven’t been cut and there were blotch marks on his face and his teeth.’

Passing his 42nd day, the Palestinian political prisoner entered the fatal high-risk stage of starvation, where he is risking cardiac arrest and the inevitable shutting-down of major organs. The Palestine News Network reports what awaits Adnan:

[A]fter the 42nd day of a hunger strike, it is expected that individuals will begin to lose their hearing and vision, and suffer bleeding in the gums, intestines, and esophagus. The body will gradually stop functioning. After the 45th day, there is a high risk of death due to vascular system collapse and/or cardiac arrest.

hunger strike
Solidarity hunger striker in Gaza (Photo: Joe Catron)

Responding to the political prisoner’s dire health condition, advocates are desperately calling for the termination of the graduate student’s detention. In Gaza, solidarity hunger strikers built a protest tent, and in the West Bank, other political prisoners joined Adnan in a strike.

Internationally, over the past few days, Samidoun, the Palestinian political prisoners solidarity network  petitioned, pressured, and demanded support for Adnan from Israeli embassies and U.S. officials. And though the pressure has not yielded life-saving intervention–life-saving–the narrative of Adnan’s imprisonment without charge or trial is circulating. Addameer chronicled the detention:

Each day, Khader was subjected to two three-hour interrogation sessions. Throughout the interrogation sessions, his hands were tied behind his back on a chair with a crooked back, causing extreme pain to his back. Khader notes that the interrogators would leave him sitting alone in the room for half an hour or more. Khader also suffered from additional ill-treatment. During the second week of interrogation, one interrogator pulled his beard so hard that it caused his hair to rip off. The same interrogator also took dirt from the bottom of his shoe and rubbed it on Khader’s mustache as a means of humiliation.

On Friday evening 30 December 2011, Khader was transferred to Ramleh prison hospital because of his deteriorating health from his hunger strike. He was placed in isolation in the hospital, where he was subject to cold conditions and cockroaches throughout his cell. He has refused any medical examinations since 25 December, which was one week after he stopped eating and speaking. The prison director came to speak to Khader in order to intimidate him further and soldiers closed the upper part of his cell’s door to block any air circulation, commenting that they would “break him” eventually.

shrine
Shrine to Adnan, Gaza. (Photo: Joe Catron)

To date, no one in a position of agency to release Adnan has made a public statement, other than confirming his internment. On January 8, a judge issued a fourth-month extension of administration detention. Like others held in this legal limbo, Adnan’s incarceration is predicated upon secret evidence that the prison advocacy Adameer explains, is “collected by Israeli authorities and available to the military judge but not to the detainee or his lawyer.”

Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands. (Photo: PA/PA Wire)

A fate like Bobby Sands?

It appears that there is now no way out for Adnan. His hunger strike now is just 13 days short of the duration of Irish republican Bobby Sands’s strike. Protesting inhumane treatment and the de-politicizing of his prisoner designation, Sands along with a hundred others engaged in a hunger strike for 66 days. The strike was called off after 10 died, and support never arrived from the imprisoning politicians. Even at the end of the Irish political prisoners’ lives, Margaret Thatcher, who held the key to the republicans’ cell, was cold. A day after Sands’ death the then British prime minister announced, “terrorism is a crime and always will be a crime.”

Conversely, Israeli politicians remain silent on Adnan’s case, the longest running one-man hunger strike. Aside from remarks by the prison service on a possible force-feeding, it is as if Adnan does not exist. But, he does exist.

British officials did not intervene to save Sands, a likely path for the quiet Israelis.  But, in 1981 civil society’s screams for the Irish national hero broke glass. Following Sands’ death, direct actions took place across the world, including U.S. port workers refusing to unload British good in a 24-hour boycott.

If Adnan is let to perish, may his passing also break the glass.

Samidoun: TAKE ACTION NOW!

1. Call and demand the release of Khader Adnan, who has not been charged with any crime but instead is being held under Administrative Detention. Call the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC (1.202.364.5500) OR your local Embassy (for a list, click here).

Call the office of Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs (1.202.647.7209)

Demand that Jeffrey Feltman bring this issue urgently to his counterparts in Israel and raise the question of Khader Adnan’s administrative detention.

2. Organize a protest outside your local Israeli Embassy (for a list, click here).

Post your local actions to the Khader Adnan facebook page

Tweet Now: Take Action Now for #KhaderAdnan http://samidoun.ca/?p=133 #Palestine #Israel

Tweet Now: I just called my local #Israel Embassy to demand #KhaderAdnan’s release. Join me now! ListofEmbassies: http://bit.ly/xoEzsS

Tweet Now: Sign Petition to #FreeKhader hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner http://samidoun.ca/?p=116 #palestine #KhaderAdnan

3. Other Actions

* To contact the authorities within Israel, see Addameer’s appeal.
* Other ideas for actions and a letter-writing template can be found on this action alert from Samidoun (The Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network).
* See Amnesty International’s report and appeal to action.
 

Protest Tent
Gaza protest tent. (Photo: Joe Catron) 

This is an updated version of an article that was originally published 2/7/2012 on Mondoweiss

Tomorrow, Khader Adnan, now on his 54th day of hunger strike against an administrative detention order, will see an Israeli judge for a final military court appeal.  Ma’an News Agency reported the “special session” will take place in an Israeli hospital, where Adnan is currently shackled to a bed. 

In addition to the unconventional court session, yesterday Israeli authorities also unexpectedly granted Adnan a family visit, in which his wife described his physical condition as “horrifying.” Adnan is 33, a father of two, and his wife Randa is five months pregnant with their third child. He is a baker and is pursuing a Masters degree in Economics. Also present during the family visit, Prisoner advocacy organization Addameer (though Adnan’s attorney was barred) said:

‘He is incredibly small and his clothes haven’t been changed and he hasn’t showered since being arrested. His nails haven’t been cut and there were blotch marks on his face and his teeth.’

Passing his 42nd day, the Palestinian political prisoner entered the fatal high-risk stage of starvation, where he is risking cardiac arrest and the inevitable shutting-down of major organs. The Palestine News Network reports what awaits Adnan:

[A]fter the 42nd day of a hunger strike, it is expected that individuals will begin to lose their hearing and vision, and suffer bleeding in the gums, intestines, and esophagus. The body will gradually stop functioning. After the 45th day, there is a high risk of death due to vascular system collapse and/or cardiac arrest.

hunger strike
Solidarity hunger striker in Gaza (Photo: Joe Catron)

Responding to the political prisoner’s dire health condition, advocates are desperately calling for the termination of the graduate student’s detention. In Gaza, solidarity hunger strikers built a protest tent, and in the West Bank, other political prisoners joined Adnan in a strike.

Internationally, over the past few days, Samidoun, the Palestinian political prisoners solidarity network  petitioned, pressured, and demanded support for Adnan from Israeli embassies and U.S. officials. And though the pressure has not yielded life-saving intervention–life-saving–the narrative of Adnan’s imprisonment without charge or trial is circulating. Addameer chronicled the detention:

Each day, Khader was subjected to two three-hour interrogation sessions. Throughout the interrogation sessions, his hands were tied behind his back on a chair with a crooked back, causing extreme pain to his back. Khader notes that the interrogators would leave him sitting alone in the room for half an hour or more. Khader also suffered from additional ill-treatment. During the second week of interrogation, one interrogator pulled his beard so hard that it caused his hair to rip off. The same interrogator also took dirt from the bottom of his shoe and rubbed it on Khader’s mustache as a means of humiliation.

On Friday evening 30 December 2011, Khader was transferred to Ramleh prison hospital because of his deteriorating health from his hunger strike. He was placed in isolation in the hospital, where he was subject to cold conditions and cockroaches throughout his cell. He has refused any medical examinations since 25 December, which was one week after he stopped eating and speaking. The prison director came to speak to Khader in order to intimidate him further and soldiers closed the upper part of his cell’s door to block any air circulation, commenting that they would “break him” eventually.

shrine
Shrine to Adnan, Gaza. (Photo: Joe Catron)

To date, no one in a position of agency to release Adnan has made a public statement, other than confirming his internment. On January 8, a judge issued a fourth-month extension of administration detention. Like others held in this legal limbo, Adnan’s incarceration is predicated upon secret evidence that the prison advocacy Adameer explains, is “collected by Israeli authorities and available to the military judge but not to the detainee or his lawyer.”

Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands. (Photo: PA/PA Wire)

A fate like Bobby Sands?

It appears that there is now no way out for Adnan. His hunger strike now is just 13 days short of the duration of Irish republican Bobby Sands’s strike. Protesting inhumane treatment and the de-politicizing of his prisoner designation, Sands along with a hundred others engaged in a hunger strike for 66 days. The strike was called off after 10 died, and support never arrived from the imprisoning politicians. Even at the end of the Irish political prisoners’ lives, Margaret Thatcher, who held the key to the republicans’ cell, was cold. A day after Sands’ death the then British prime minister announced, “terrorism is a crime and always will be a crime.”

Conversely, Israeli politicians remain silent on Adnan’s case, the longest running one-man hunger strike. Aside from remarks by the prison service on a possible force-feeding, it is as if Adnan does not exist. But, he does exist.

British officials did not intervene to save Sands, a likely path for the quiet Israelis.  But, in 1981 civil society’s screams for the Irish national hero broke glass. Following Sands’ death, direct actions took place across the world, including U.S. port workers refusing to unload British good in a 24-hour boycott.

If Adnan is let to perish, may his passing also break the glass.

Samidoun: TAKE ACTION NOW!

1. Call and demand the release of Khader Adnan, who has not been charged with any crime but instead is being held under Administrative Detention. Call the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC (1.202.364.5500) OR your local Embassy (for a list, click here).

Call the office of Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs (1.202.647.7209)

Demand that Jeffrey Feltman bring this issue urgently to his counterparts in Israel and raise the question of Khader Adnan’s administrative detention.

2. Organize a protest outside your local Israeli Embassy (for a list, click here).

Post your local actions to the Khader Adnan facebook page

Tweet Now: Take Action Now for #KhaderAdnan http://samidoun.ca/?p=133 #Palestine #Israel

Tweet Now: I just called my local #Israel Embassy to demand #KhaderAdnan’s release. Join me now! ListofEmbassies: http://bit.ly/xoEzsS

Tweet Now: Sign Petition to #FreeKhader hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner http://samidoun.ca/?p=116 #palestine #KhaderAdnan

3. Other Actions

* To contact the authorities within Israel, see Addameer’s appeal.
* Other ideas for actions and a letter-writing template can be found on this action alert from Samidoun (The Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network).
* See Amnesty International’s report and appeal to action.
 

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

Other posts by .


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15 Responses

  1. Real Jew
    February 9, 2012, 12:59 am

    The selfless actions of this courageous and resilient man should be praised. Risking his life not just for his freedom but to expose the racist and brutal policies created by Israeli lawmakers and aggressively carried out by Israeli “security forces”. Risking his life for the freedom of countless others who have been similarly and unjustly targeted, detained, abused, isolated, and humiliated.

    It is unfathomable that Israeli law allows police to detain an individual without charges (let alone evidence) then continue to extend their detention without reason and without a fair trial in sight. And this is the “only democracy” in the ME that Netanyahu brags about. God bless this man and may justice come before his death

    • jimmy
      February 10, 2012, 7:50 am

      Risking his life not just for his freedom but to expose the racist and brutal policies created by Israeli lawmakers and aggressively carried out by Israeli “security forces”. Risking his life for the freedom of countless others who have been similarly and unjustly targeted, detained, abused, isolated, and humiliated.

      and completely approved of by the US congress and US msm…

      sadly the same forces are at work in the US …labeling everyone that doesnt abide by their rules…..terrorist…

    • Abierno
      February 10, 2012, 12:55 pm

      Unbelievable. This man is in a sterile hospital setting – and he has not been permitted any opportunity – for over 55 days – to shower, to change clothes, nor to attend to personal self care. I would interpret this as that he is chained to a bed, lying in his own filth. Of course one would not open an IV line – the risk for infection would be exceptional.
      Is this the usual and customary standard of care in Israel for palestinian prisoners? Do the Israeli medical professionals who are responsible for his care make any, even the least comment? This represents the judicial system (remembering that he has been viewed by several judges) of the only democracy in the Middle East?

      • Annie Robbins
        February 10, 2012, 1:20 pm

        Is this the usual and customary standard of care in Israel for palestinian prisoners?

        the usual and customary standard of care in Israel for palestinian prisoners would include the intense interrogation/torture he was subject to before his condition deteriorated.

        Each day, Khader was subjected to two three-hour interrogation sessions. Throughout the interrogation sessions, his hands were tied behind his back on a chair with a crooked back, causing extreme pain to his back. Khader notes that the interrogators would leave him sitting alone in the room for half an hour or more. Khader also suffered from additional ill-treatment. During the second week of interrogation, one interrogator pulled his beard so hard that it caused his hair to rip off. The same interrogator also took dirt from the bottom of his shoe and rubbed it on Khader’s mustache as a means of humiliation.

      • Real Jew
        February 10, 2012, 2:00 pm

        Jimmy- Yup. It’s amazing what investing a little money in media and politics can do huh.

        Abierno- as reprehensible as it may be, this is the normal treatment of Arab prisoners. They literally treat human beings like animals, allowing them to wallow in their own filth. Even worst… it was reported either here or haaretz (maybe both) that prison doctors have been caught not reporting or covering up evidence of torture victims during incarceration. Unbelievable is an appropriate word you used

  2. VR
    February 9, 2012, 1:21 am

    “WEEPING WINDS

    Oh! cold March winds your cruel laments
    Are hard on prisoners’ hearts,
    For you bring my mother’s pleading cries
    From whom I have to part.
    I hear her weeping lonely sobs
    Her sorrows sweep me by,
    And in the dark of prison cell
    A tear has warmed my eye.

    Oh! whistling winds why do you weep
    When roaming free you are,
    Oh! is it that your poor heart’s broke
    And scattered off afar?
    Or is it that you bear the cries
    Of people born unfree,
    Who like your way have no control
    Or sovereign destiny?

    Oh! lonely winds that walk the night
    To haunt the sinner’s soul,
    Pray pity me a wretched lad
    Who never will grow old.
    Pray pity those who lie in pain
    The bondsman and the slave,
    And whisper sweet the breath of God
    Upon my humble grave.

    Oh! cold March winds that pierce the dark
    You cry in aged tones
    For souls of folk you’ve brought to God
    But still you bear the moans.
    Oh! weeping wind this lonely night
    My mother’s heart is sore
    Oh! Lord of all breathe freedom’s breath
    That she may weep no more. ”
    Bobby Sands – Prison Poems

    When the world turns its eyes toward these atrocities, it will be dealt with in a much more severe manner than what was done to halt the oppression in Ireland.

    • kalithea
      February 10, 2012, 7:25 pm

      Amazing poem.

      “When the world turns its eyes toward these atrocities, it will be dealt with in a much more severe manner than what was done to halt the oppression in Ireland.”

      Understatement. “it”, the Criminal State will get its just desserts. That day can’t come soon enough.

  3. seafoid
    February 9, 2012, 4:11 am

    In 1988 Ishayahu Leibowitz wrote: “If the status-quo continues (and the keyword is “if”), hooliganization – or perhaps we ought to say Nazification – of the people and society in Israel – will be inevitable”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Freisler

  4. eGuard
    February 9, 2012, 12:01 pm

    Adnan’s imprisonment without charge …

    Alan Dershowitz, six days ago: “I am against torture, but if you do it all I ask is be sure you have a legal paper for it”. Dershowitz, someone needs you. Stand up now or shut up forever.

  5. Elliot
    February 9, 2012, 3:07 pm

    I called Jeffrey Feltman’s office and left a message with the lady who answered the phone. It felt like I had gotten through to somebody who would actually register the call.

  6. ToivoS
    February 9, 2012, 9:46 pm

    At some level I find this death watch very uncomfortable. This is a man that is willing to die to make a very simple point — he refuses to be humiliated by his oppressors.

    Since humiliation is a Zionist tool to control the Palestinians (check point interrogations, police torture sessions, strip searches and more) Adnan’s refusal to submit is very powerful. Unfortunately, the Israelis will allow him to die and the American MSN will simply ignore the story or use it as an example about how irrational those Palestinians really are.

  7. NickJOCW
    February 10, 2012, 8:52 am

    Like so much else that comes out of that Godforsaken country, it leaves me numb. It’s nothing to do with it, but Russian TV has covered several Palestinian issues these last days including the recent law for breaking up families. There is also an escalation in coverage of some more negative aspects of current US life and policies, and an interesting perspecive on Syria. http://rt.com/on-air/ is worth some time if you can spare it. If anyone is going to bring the US to heel on this matter it could be Russia. They also report that the West is actually arming one of the Syrian insurgent groups and that UK and Quatari forces are already there helping one group.

  8. Wonder Bunder
    February 10, 2012, 9:15 am

    I called Mr. Feltman’s office and said I’d like to leave him a message, and the young lady who answered said she could take one for me. I said my message was regarding Mr. Khader Adnan and asked if she was aware of him and his situation. She said she was not, so I began to explain that he was being held in administrative detention without charge in an Israeli prison and was on a hunger strike for 53 days. Before I could ask her to tell Mr. Feltman to demand that he be released, she said something about this being a “business line” and that she had to go…I tried to ask her to tell me which number I should call instead, but she didn’t reply and hung up. I wonder if they’re getting a lot of calls regarding this issue and are trying to ignore it?

  9. kalithea
    February 10, 2012, 1:03 pm

    Anonymous gets it completely! Israel has NO LEGITIMACY.

    It’s time we stopped referring to the Zionist State as Israel or the State of Israel and it’s hi-time we started calling this spade a spade in other words: THE CRIMINAL STATE.

    Israel is a Criminal State that committed war crimes and crimes against humanity to get where it is today!

    The Criminal State has NO LEGITIMACY; not one shred left. It’s time to stop legitimizing this Criminal State once and for all!

    Anonymous, PLEASE, PLEASE DO YOUR THING ASAP!

  10. DICKERSON3870
    February 10, 2012, 10:55 pm

    RE: “It appears that there is now no way out for Adnan. His hunger strike
    now is just 13 days short of the duration of Irish republican Bobby Sands’s strike.” ~ Allison Deger

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    Acclaimed visual artist Steve McQueen makes his feature film debut with this gripping drama (and Independent Spirit Award Best Foreign Film contender) that depicts the events surrounding a hunger strike staged by a group of IRA prisoners during their 1981 incarceration in Britain’s Prison Maze. Led by IRA volunteer-poet Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender), the strikers waged their six-week-long protest in an attempt to be acknowledged as political prisoners and to improve the prison’s conditions.
    Netflix Availability: Streaming, DVD and Blu-ray
    NETFLIX LISTING – http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Hunger/70108808?trkid=496624
    HUNGER Trailer (2008) – The Criterion Collection (VIDEO, 01:53) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9IiUbBV4zc
    P.S. IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not watch this film anywhere near mealtime. To say the least, it does not “whet the appetite”. At least, not for food! Also, a ‘barf bag’ might be advisable when viewing this film.

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