Updates from the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
January 24, 2011 – Ahmad Sa’adat, Palestinian national leader and political prisoner, remains in isolation, for nearly 700 days, prohibited from family visits, reading material confiscated, and barred from his friends and fellow prisoners, and accompanied by his fellow prisoner in isolation, Jamal Abu el-Hija.
Isolation and prevention of human contact is widely understood by human rights advocates to be ill-treatment that amounts to torture and/or cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, in violation of the Geneva Conventions. Ongoing and repeated isolation that will now stretch to over two years, justified by vague declarations of “security” needs, indicate that the Israeli regime is dedicated to attempting to isolate Sa’adat not only from his fellow prisoners, but to isolate and silence his voice among the Palestinian people.
Sa’adat’s ongoing isolation only serves to make clear time and again that the Israeli courts are merely an arm of the occupation, dedicated at all levels to maintaining the oppression of the Palestinian people and providing a “legal” pretext for ongoing brutality and human rights abuses.
Despite the Israeli occupation’s goals, however, Sa’adat has continued to speak out. From isolation, Sa’adat issued a message congratulating the people of Tunisia for their remarkable revolution and the promise it holds for the Arab world.
In addition, the French Foreign Minister, Ms Michelle Alliot-Marie, visited Gaza on January 21, 2011, where she referred to the Palestinian resistance’s detention of occupation solidier Gilad Shalit as a “war crime.” At the same time, she had no words for the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held hostage in Israeli jails, including Salah Hammouri, a French and Palestinian citizen held in Israeli jails. The Campaign condemned the Foreign Minister and demanded an apology to the Palestinian prisoners. (Statement here in French and English). Learn more about the case of Salah Hammouri!
January 15, 2011 marks the ninth anniversary of Sa’adat’s kidnapping by Palestinian Authority security forces, at the behest of Israeli and U.S. demands, as part of the policy of “security cooperation.” The Campaign issued a statement in English and Arabic condemning the PA and demanding an immediate end to the policy of security cooperation. Indeed, the documents of the Palestine Papers newly released by Al-Jazeera, revealing inside details of negotiations on such topics as Jerusalem, the right of refugees to return and security cooperation only confirm that such policies have been a disaster for the Palestinian people; the tragedy of security cooperation is illustrated precisely by Sa’adat’s case.
Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has been held in Israeli jails since March 14, 2006, when he was abducted from Jericho prison, where he had been held in a Palestinian Authority prison under U.S. and British guard. While imprisoned in the PA jail in Jericho, he was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was sentenced to thirty years in prison on December 25, 2008 by an Israeli military court for his political activity, and has spent over 500 days in continually-renewed isolation at the present time.
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat salutes the human rights and Palestine solidarity activists around the world who have rallied to struggle for Sa’adat and the approximately 7,000 prisoners held in the jails of the occupation. Read the Campaign website for more news about actions – including vigils in Ireland and a tour in late 2010 by Abla Sa’adat, Ahmad Sa’adat’s wife, in the United States.
This work defeats the occupation’s plans – it refuses to allow the Palestinian prisoners, on a Palestinian, Arab or international level, to be isolated. The voices of Ahmad Sa’adat and the Palestinian prisoners will be heard, and no bars or isolation will prevent that.
TAKE ACTION TODAY!
1. The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat calls upon all supporters of justice and human rights to write to U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and demand an end to U.S. aid to Israel. The U.S. is responsible for Sa’adat’s kidnapping – demand it end now!
Write here: http://www.freeahmadsaadat.org/action4.html
2. Write a letter to Ahmad Sa’adat. Letters of support are important and demonstrate solidarity with Ahmad Sa’adat and Palestinian prisoners – let him know that the world is demanding his freedom. Email the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat at firstname.lastname@example.org with your letters, or use our contact form at: http://freeahmadsaadat.org/contact.html. We will send all letters received to Palestine. We also encourage you to write to him directly using this address: Ahmad Sa’adat, Ramon Prison, Ramon area, PO Box 699, Postal Code 80600, Israel.
3. Organize an event in your local area to support Palestinian prisoners. Please contact the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat at email@example.com about your own events and activities!
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat