Khader Adnan on his 59th day, when Francis Hughes died

Israel/Palestine
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Hughes Ofer
(Keren Maor/Activestills)

Khader Adnan, age 33, is on his 59th day on hunger strike.

Fifty-nine days was how long it took for Francis Hughes to succumb to his starvation and die. Hughes was one of ten Irish republican prisoners who died during the 1981 hunger strike, calling for the British government to recognize their status as political prisoners.

The durations of their hunger strikes were as follows:

  • Martin Hurson (age 25), died on his 46th day
  • Francis Hughes (age 25), died on his 59th day
  • Michael Devine (age 27), died on his 60th day
  • Raymond McCreesh (age 24), Joe McDonnell (age 30), and Patsy O’Hara (age 24), all died on their 61st days
  • Thomas McElwee (age 24), died on his 62nd day
  • Bobby Sands (age 27), died on his 66th day
  • Kevin Lynch (age 25), died on his 71st day
  • Kieran Doherty (age 25), died on his 73rd day
Hughes Maggie and Joseph
The parents of Francis Hughes

So today we recognize and mark the death of Francis Hughes. If Adnan lives tomorrow, we should mark the passing of Michael Devine. If he lives the following day, we should mark the deaths of Raymond McCreesh, Joe McDonnell, and Patsy O’Hara. If he survives to the next day, we should mark the death of Thomas McElwee.

Yesterday, when the Israeli Military Court rejected Adnan’s appeal to reduce the sentence of his indefinitely renewable baseless detention, Judge Moshe Tirosh placed the onus on Adnan, according to a report by the prisoner rights group Addameer:

Judge Tirosh stated that only Khader is to blame for his physical health condition as a result of his choice to continue his hunger strike and that his medical condition will not influence the administrative detention decision.

Perhaps it was futile to expect one can reason with a judge who commands imprisonment without reason. Furthermore it is difficult to imagine how corrupt a system must be to even utilize a process of “administrative detention,” imprisonment without known charges, in a court system that already carries a 99.74% conviction rate—and which often secures convictions based on the “witness” testimonies of Palestinian children placed under duress.

As much as Israel’s defenders seek to excuse every human rights violation by reciting the mantra that “Israel wants peace,” no amount of recitation will save Khader Adnan. Simply stating that “Israel isn’t perfect” or calling for “dialogue” will not save Adnan. The only thing that will save him is what Israel’s defenders, liberal or otherwise, always hope to dissuade with their self-centered nonsense: pressure from the outside.

Update: Today, Oliver Hughes, Frances Hughes’s brother, sent a message of solidarity to Khader Adnan:

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  1. Chu
    February 14, 2012, 1:50 pm

    For those that haven’t seen it, McQueen’s Film Hunger was terrific.
    A film about Bobby Sands hunger strike.

  2. DICKERSON3870
    February 14, 2012, 7:13 pm

    RE: “Fifty-nine days was how long it took for Francis Hughes to succumb to his starvation and die. Hughes was one of ten Irish republican prisoners who died during the 1981 hunger strike, calling for the British government to recognize their status as political prisoners.” ~ Phan Nguyen

    AN EXCELLENT FILM ON THE NATURE OF BEING A “CONSCIOUS PARIAH”*: “Hunger”, 2008, NR, 96 minutes
    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 – link to movies.netflix.com
    HUNGER Trailer (2008) – The Criterion Collection (VIDEO, 01:53) – link to youtube.com
    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.

    * A RELATED FACEBOOK GROUP
    Name – Hannah Arendt: Integrity Personified
    Category – Common Interest, Beliefs & Causes
    Description – A group for individuals who greatly respect the legendary Hannah Arendt, and who admire the immense integrity her life epitomized. Oh, come, all ye “conscious pariahs”, Joyful and triumphant! Oh, come ye, oh, come ye…
    LINK – link to facebook.com

  3. lareineblanche
    February 14, 2012, 7:30 pm

    Khader Adnan is being tortured by the state of Israel.

    Henri Alleg, a journalist in Algeria during the war of independence, wrote a book called “La Question” (the question), relating the various instances of torture inflicted on those resisting the aggression of the French paratroopers on Algerian soil.
    1) Torture is above all about control – that is, they are asserting total control over the body of Mr. Adnan.
    2) Torture is also a means of extending this control to the rest of the population, for whom the victim is meant to serve as an example – “This could be you if you’re not careful”.
    Alleg :

    “…above all, what the authorities were attempting to hide were the methods employed to bring an entire people to its knees…”

    This is the ultimate act of resistance.

  4. iResistDe4iAm
    February 14, 2012, 9:55 pm

    “a court system that already carries a 99.74% conviction rate—and which often secures convictions based on the “witness” testimonies of Palestinian children placed under duress”

    And the conviction rate for Palestinian children in Israeli military courts (for rock-throwing) is even higher at 99.88%. Note that “the pressure to plead guilty is great, because generally minors charged with throwing rocks are held in custody until the end of legal proceedings; a regular trial could keep them detained for longer than the sentence they receive after pleading guilty, which is usually no more than a few months.”

    link to haaretz.com

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