Support for Palestinian hunger striker

Republican groups of all hues have rallied in support of Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan, who is said to be near death while shackled to a bed in an Israeli hospital.

Mr Adnan is on the 62nd day of his hunger strike and is in immediate danger of death, according to the latest medical reports.

A baker from a village near Jenin, he is being held without charge by the Israeli authorities under what they term “administrative detention”. He began his hunger strike on 18 December, the day after being arrested.

Adnan’s hunger strike is in protest at his detention without charge or being told of any evidence against him, and over abuse and degrading treatment during arrest and interrogation. This is his ninth period of detention. In the past he has acted as a spokesman for a Palestinian militant group.

He has asked to be charged or released. In his own words Khadar said “My dignity is more precious than food.”

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore and his European counterparts to urgently intervene to save his life and demand that the Israeli state meet their responsibilities under international law.

“United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, Richard Falk has expressed his urgent and extreme concern regarding Khader Adnan, and urged the international community to intervene on his behalf so it is not good enough for the Tánaiste to simply express concern,” he said.

“I am calling on the Tánaiste and his European counterparts to urgently intervene to save Khader Adnan’s life.

“The practice of ‘administrative detentions’ is clearly unjust and has been used systematically as part of the military occupation of the Palestinian territories by the Israeli state.

“Over the years Israel has administratively detained thousands of Palestinians for prolonged periods of time without prosecution, without informing them of the charges against them, and without allowing their solicitors to study the evidence making a mockery of the protections specified in Israeli and international law to protect the right of liberty and due process, the right of defendants to state their case and the presumption of innocence.

“There are 308 Palestinians are currently being held ‘administrative detentions’

“Apportioning political labels to detainees is no justification for prolonged imprisonment without trial”.

Geraldine McNamara, National PRO of Republican Sinn Fein, condemned the Israeli administration for refusing to act.

“His condition is now extremely grave,” she said. “Yet prison authorities shamelessly called his health ‘acceptable’. They found no grounds for shortening his detention or releasing him.

“Sadly soon Khadar will be released from his prison hell in the same way Bobby Sands and his comrades were in 1981 in Ireland.

“Too many stood idly by then and we should be ashamed that no international body has succeeded in calling on the Israeli’s to end this tragic situation.

“We are told that a person is innocent until proven guilty but in Israel a person can be interned (detained) without trial as has happened in this case.

“Unfortunately imperialist governments worldwide never learn from their mistakes, Khadar will become a martyr and many more will follow in his footsteps.

“He is fading fast now but his strength of character will live forever.

“Our prayers are with Khadar and his family at this time.”

éirígí held vigils in Belfast and Newry this week in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoner.

Speaking at the Newry vigil, éirígí’s Stephen Murney said all Palestinian and international organisations and activists had been asked to join in a campaign of solidarity with the hunger striking prisoner and to launch protests and solidarity actions.

“So here we are here today to show solidarity with our comrades in Palestine who are currently on hunger strike. We have deliberately picked this location, Ray McCreesh Park, for obvious reasons. Over thirty years ago Raymond McCreesh and his comrades also embarked on hunger strike and paid the ultimate sacrifice in doing so.”

Murney said that, en route to the event, he had been detained, searched and questioned about his attendance at the vigil by the PSNI police, who he described as a ‘militia’.

“éirígí will continue with our local, national and international campaigns. Internationalism and internationalist solidarity have always been a central theme of Irish republicanism. éirígí understands that now, more than ever, the struggle for an Ireland free of the twin fetters of capitalism and imperialism is integrally linked to the wider international struggle of the poor and oppressed against the rich and powerful.”

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© 2012 Irish Republican News