Imprisoned Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat wrote following letter to the Conference in Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners, which took place in Rabat, Morocco, from January 21-23, 2011:
Dear conference participants
I greet you with appreciation of all the efforts you have undertaken to convene this conference in solidarity with the prisoners of freedom in Palestine. I anticipate that it will stand as a representation of the vast popular support expressed for our cause, joined in one national and internatonal struggle for freedom, democracy, human rights, and the unity of all struggling against all forms of injustice, tyranny, discrimination and all manifestations of imperialism today.
No resistance has been so distorted and defamed as the Palestinian resistance, and no occupation in the world enjoys the support and cover for terrorism as does the Israeli occupation state, under the domination of imperialism on the international political stage and the launch of its war on the people of the world under the cover of “fighting terrorism.”
The occupation is the worst form of organized state terrorism. But in these circumstances, the legitimate resistance of our people is portrayed as ‘terrorism’ and the Palestinian resistance martyr or prisoner is a ‘terrorist’ who should be killed or captured and deprived of his or her liberty.
However, despite the magnitude and economic and military might of the imperialist/Zionist coalition, they have been unable to prevent the vast expansion of the international popular condemnation of the crimes of the occupation, and international solidarity and advocacy for our struggle, our national rights and the justice of our cause. This upsurge in solidarity has been caused, first and foremost, by the terrible crimes of the occupation. This confirms the distinct role of popular movements and international solidarity movements, who have risen to share our suffering and our common struggle, which has even led to the martyrdom of some militant internationalists, like the martyr Rachel Corrie.
Thus, the importance of this conference and its series of popular meetings – aside from the important details conveyed in the reports of human rights organizations and the documentation of various violations of the human rights of prisoners – is the function of this conference to raise the momentum of popular and public international support for Palestinian prisoners. This has the great potential to spark pressure on powerful governments to end their support for Israeli violations of international law and to demand international protection for Palestinian prisoners, and our people in general, in order to enable them to exercise their right to self-determination, to end occupation, to establish their independent state with its capital in Jerusalem, and for refugess to return to their land from which they were displaced.
Furthermore, a direct word is required to uphold the status of the Palestinian resistance and its legitimacy in international law, as well the status of the Palestinian prisoners, fighters for freedom, and prisoners of war under international law. I also stress the importance of necessity of national and international legal action stemming from this conference, including raising the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
In this context, I believe you share with us the view that the presence of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Palestinian prisons, against the backdrop of division and criminalization of resistance to occupation and suppression of freedom of expression in the West Bank and Gaza significantly weakens all efforts and sincere initiatives to support our people’s prisoners and our cause in general.
I hope that this conference issues a call to end the political arrests and the suppression of freedoms, and the formation of a committee in Palestine to end political arrests and provide a climate for a democratic national dialogue to move our movement out of division and mobilize our people’s forces to confront the enemy. Also, at the same time, I hope to see the conference issue a public call to end the detention of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners in all countries of the world, and to free all such prisoners as an essential need for freedom, democracy and human rights.
Do not forget the prisoners of freedom around the world, and in particular, the prisoners of the Iraqi resistance to American occupation.
In conclusion, I send hearty greetings to all of you, thank you, and hope to celebrate the success of your conference and its initiatives.
General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
From within the isolation cell inside the occupation prisons
January 6, 2011