A nine-year-old boy Tariq Assakani passed away in a road accident in Gaza today. Tariq is the only child of the Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Assakani who is serving a 27 year sentence in Israeli jails.
The bus Tariq was traveling in was heading for a summer camp. It included thirty prisoners’ children. All have been injured and five are in a critical condition. All of the children have not seen their fathers for years.
Tariq’s father was detained more than eleven years ago. His wife was pregnant at the time with his only son. Tariq only met his father twice when he was three years old. Even hearing his voice was forbidden after that. The only way he could see or hug him was to keep thinking of him, wishing he could see or smell him somewhere, while sleeping. Tariq used to have a wish. He just wanted to hear his father voice. To hug him was his highest priority. And to talk with him was all what he wanted from his life. I know that his story is not like ours. His dream was not even a dream, in our own dictionary. He once told me that he only wants to be like any other child. He only asks for a father he has.
The video below was shot only half an hour before Tariq died. [From 2:14]
“Where is human rights? I demand all justice seekers to stand by humanity and freedom. I want to see my father, to hear his voice, to touch his body, and hug him for once. I always watch my friends go with their fathers to lovely places but I couldn’t. Simply it is because I don’t have a father or more particularly as he is far a ways from me. There are Israeli barriers. I don’t know why. My father is not a criminal. He lives in a dark dirty cell for no reason. He cannot see the Moon or even notice the Sun. He is dying to see me. I am too.”
Tariq said in a sorrowful tone summarized his story.