Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, continued his boycott of the occupation courts, stating that these courts are illegitimate, invalid and can produce nothing but a mockery of justice, and that these courts are part and parcel of the war machine that continues its aggression against the Palestinian people, with isolation another weapon in their arsenal.
Sa’adat has already been held in isolation for over six months, in a special solitary confinement unit at Ramon prison where he is confined without access even to the other prisoners in the larger isolation unit, and deprived of basic human rights. His personal books have been confiscated and he is routinely denied access to television, newspapers or any other source of information.
He has been denied family visits – his wife, Abla, has been denied visits for three months – as well as legal visits, and barred from purchases at the prison canteen, including cigarette purchases. In the prison yard, Sa’adat has been held handcuffed and in ankle shackles and allowed only one-hour of exercise/recreation. All of this has been ‘justified’ by the occupation authorities as ‘punishment’ for giving two packs of cigarettes to another prisoner.
The Prison Administration is attempting to criminalize the human and social relationship between fellow Palestinian prisoners, and between the prisoners and their families outside. Palestinian national leaders, such as Sa’adat, have been particularly targeted for isolation, solitary confinement and similar punitive mechanisms and violations of their human rights, in order to suppress the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, which has been at the forefront of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, liberation, return and self-determination.
Ahmad Sa’adat and nearly 10,000 Palestinian prisoners are struggling for freedom and calling upon the active support of people around the world for the freedom of the prisoners, their people and their homeland. This latest outrage demands our action and attention!
Across Palestine, throughout the Arab world, from France, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Galicia, Greece the U.S., Canada, Brazil and around the world, actions are taking place and statements are pouring in to support Ahmad Sa’adat and the Palestinian prisoners, demanding an end to isolation and freedom for these 10,000 hostages.
1. Distribute the Free Ahmad Sa’adat flyer:in your town, city, event or location! Bring the flyers to events and activities, or hold a flyer distribution at a public place.
Diplomatic+missions/Web+Sites+of+Israeli+Missions+Abroad.htm) and demand the immediate freedom of Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian political prisoners.
3. Write to the International Committee of the Red Cross and other human rights organizations to exercise their responsibilities and act swiftly to demand that the Israelis ensure that Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners are freed from punitive isolation. Email the ICRC, whose humanitarian mission includes monitoring the conditions of prisoners, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and inform them about the urgent situation of Ahmad Sa’adat.
4.Email the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat at email@example.com with announcements, reports and information about your local events, activities and flyer distributions.
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
WHO ARE THE PALESTINIAN PRISONERS?
There are nearly 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. In the West Bank, nearly half of all men have been detained in occupation prisons. They are members of all Palestinian political parties and factions, and come from all walks of life – activists, teachers, farmers, students. They are women and men, and children and youth. They include in their number hundreds of administrative detainees – arbitrarily detained individuals held without charge on secret evidence. They also include approximately 27 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. All of these prisoners are held in Israeli occupation jails because they are struggling for the freedom of their people and their land.
WHO IS AHMAD SA’ADAT?
Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was elected to his position in 2001 following the assassination of the previous General Secretary, Abu Ali Mustafa, on August 27, 2001 by a U.S.-made Apache missile shot from an Israeli military helicopter as he sat in his office in Ramallah. He was abducted by Palestinian Authority security forces after engaging in a meeting with PA officials under false pretenses in February 2002, and was held in the Muqata’ PA presidential building in Ramallah until April 2002, when in an agreement with Israel, the U.S. and Britain, he and four of his comrades were held in the Palestinian Authority’s Jericho prison, under U.S. and British guard.
He remained in the PA jails, without trial or charge, an imprisonment that was internationally condemned, until March 14, 2006, when the prison itself was besieged by the occupation army and he and his comrades were kidnapped. While imprisoned in the PA jail in Jericho, he was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council. Since that time, he has been held in the prisons of the occupation and continually refused to recognize the illegitimate military courts of the Israeli occupation. He was sentenced to thirty years in prison on December 25, 2008 solely for his political activity, and has spent over six months in isolation at the present time.
On March 18, 2009, Sa’adat was moved into isolation at Asqelan prison, facing serious medical consequences. In June 2009, Sa’adat engaged in a nine-day hunger strike against his isolation. On August 10, 2009, Sa’adat was moved from the isolation cells at Asqelan to the isolation unit at Ramon prison in the Naqab desert. On October 22, 2009, he was consigned to an additional six months in the isolation cells.
Sa’adat’s biography, writings and statements are available at the website of the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat.