Ahmad Sa’adat, imprisoned Palestinian national leader, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, remained on hunger strike on October 19, 2011 even as he was hospitalized, and sent congratulations to the prisoners liberated as part of the prisoner swap agreement. Due to the hunger strikers’ tenacity and resilience, the prisoners’ leadership inside the prisons has achieved a victory in its hunger strike including an end to the use of isolation and solitary confinement; Sa’adat’s strike is continuing in order to ensure that victory is fully implemented.
Sa’adat was moved to Ramleh prison hospital after 20 days of hunger strike, on October 16. He has now been on hunger strike for 23 days, has lost well over 10 kilos (22 pounds), and has been experiencing serious health problems, including fainting and vomiting yellow bile, after Israeli Prison Administration officials refused to allow him salt, which, along with water, were the only items he would consume during his hunger strike.
At this time it is imperative that the eyes of the world remain on Sa’adat inside the prison hospital to ensure that he receives appropriate health and medical care and to ensure that the prisoners’ victory – an end to isolation – is fully and completely implemented. It is important to emphasize that the occupation is in all ways responsible for the life and health of Ahmad Sa’adat and is seen as such internationally.
The following statement of the prisoners’ committee and the leadership of the strike inside the prisons was issued on October 18:
An urgent statement issued by the leadership of the strike in the prisons of the occupation
Following the signing of an agreement in principle between the leadership of the strike in prison and the Israeli Prison Services, it was agreed to suspend the strike for three days. The agreement is as follows:
- To end the policy of isolation for all prisoners, and to return Sa’adat to the general population of the prison in Ramleh following his medical treatment;
- To restore the internal situation of prisoners to prior to the situation of Shalit [including prisoners’ rights to communication, visits and education, won through years of prisoners’ struggle]. In three days, if there is not a final agreement adopted by the prisoners, the striking prisoners will return to hunger strike.
- The strike leadership called for continued Palestinian, Arab and international solidarity activities and tents of support throughout this period in order to support the prisoners and achieve their demands.
Sa’adat is not participating in the three day suspension in order to keep the prisoners’ demands in the forefront and not allow the IPS to subvert, deny, or ignore the prisoners demands to which they conceded. As the prisoners’ leadership stated, international solidarity remains critical to consolidate this victory!
1. Picket, protest or call the Israeli embassy or consulate in your location and demand the immediate freedom of Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian political prisoners. Make it clear that you support the demands of striking Palestinian prisoners, which must be implemented now! Send us reports of your protests at Israeli embassies and consulates.
2. Distribute the free downloadable Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat flyer in your community at local events.
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 prisoners’ demands are implemented. Email the ICRC, whose humanitarian mission includes monitoring the conditions of prisoners, at JER_jerusalem@icrc.org, and inform them about the urgent situation of Ahmad Sa’adat. Make it clear that Ahmad Sa’adat’s life and health are gravely at risk and that you expect the ICRC to maintain vigilance over his medical care in prison.
4. Email the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat at firstname.lastname@example.org with announcements, reports and information about your local events, activities and flyer distributions.