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
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: