Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Khader Adnan: 53 days on Hunger Strike

From yesterday's Addameer report:

Urgent Appeal: Khader Adnan’s Life at Risk as He Enters Day 52 of Hunger Strike

Ramallah, 7 February 2012 – Addameer expresses its utmost concern about the health of Khader Adnan, who remains steadfast on Day 52 of his hunger strike in protest of being held in administrative detention and refuses treatment until his release. Despite his rapidly deteriorating condition, an Israeli military judge issued a decision today confirming his administrative detention order for a period of four months.

In the court decision, Judge Dalya Kaufman claimed that after hearing the medical assessment of the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) physician, Khader’s medical condition seems “acceptable” and provides no grounds for shortening or canceling the administrative detention order. This claim was made regardless of the questionable nature of the IPS medical assessment, given that Khader has refused to allow Israeli hospital staff to carry out his medical examinations. The last medical examination that Khader received was on 29 January, when Physicians for Human Rights doctors examined him. The doctors stated that in the event of organ failure, his condition could become life-threatening.

During the confirmation hearing, the military judge also claimed that she ruled out alternatives to administrative detention due to Khader allegedly “hiding” from Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF), even though he was arrested from his own home. She further contradicted herself when noting that the secret file on which his administrative detention is based contains information that he is a high risk to Israeli security, while also admitting that this same material is not enough to bring actual charges against him. These contradictions reveal the highly arbitrary nature of Khader’s detention in addition to Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law, which permits limited use of administrative detention only in emergency situations, but does not allow for its use as punishment when there is not sufficient evidence for criminal procedures.

On 6 February, Addameer lawyer Samer Sam’an was able to visit Khader in Zif Medical Center in Safad. Mr. Sam’an stated afterwards that Khader continues to refuse ingesting salt and vitamins. He also noted that Khader remains conscious and aware of his surroundings. Though Khader has categorically refused to allow any medical examinations by Israeli hospital staff, Israeli authorities continue to transfer him between multiple hospitals within Israel, which has made visits from his lawyers increasingly difficult.

Immediately after being arrested on 17 December 2011, Khader began his hunger strike in protest of Israel’s consistent violations of human rights, including its policy of arbitrary detention, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment during and following his arrest and the violation of his right to be promptly informed of the charges against him. As punishment for his hunger strike, the IOF placed Khader in solitary confinement after his fourth day under interrogation and stated that they would ban him from family visits for the following three months. With no other means to protest these injustices, Khader responded by saying, “My dignity is more precious than food.” On 8 January 2012, Khader was issued a four-month administrative detention order. After being postponed several times, a court hearing took place on 1 February, during which Khader described the ill-treatment he experienced at the hands of the IOF.

A group of Palestinian prisoners began a hunger strike in support of Khader on 2 February. Currently there are prisoners on hunger strike in Ofer, Megiddo and Ramon prisons. Khader is now the longest Palestinian hunger striker in history. He is one of 310 administrative detainees held in Israeli prisons and the third case in Addameer’s Prisoners at Risk campaign.

Addameer holds the Occupation accountable for Khader’s deteriorating health and urges the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to put immediate pressure on Israel to abide by international humanitarian and human rights law in regards to arrest and detention of Palestinians. Addameer further appeals to the International Committee of the Red Cross to play its role in bringing attention to the multitude of violations committed by Israeli authorities. If Khader remains in administrative detention, it is surely a major threat to his life; to ensure his release, local and international coalitions must work rapidly to build a movement in his support.

Yesterday also marked the first time Khader Adnan's pregnant wife Randa and their two young daughters were able to visit him. Randa described Khader's physical appearance as "horrifying", and their four year old daughter asked why he looked like that and why he couldn't come home.

From al-Akhbar English:

“He is incredibly small and his clothes haven’t been changed and he hasn’t showered since being arrested. His nails haven’t been cut and there were blotch marks on his face and his teeth.”

Despite the terrible state, Adnan remains conscience and is able to communicate.

“She [Randa] said his mental state is still fine. He was very aware and he was able to speak to them,” the spokesman added.
His personal lawyer is currently prevented from visiting him, contrary to international law, though a lawyer from Addameer has been permitted to visit.

A Physician for Human Rights doctor was due to inspect Adnan in jail on Wednesday to report on his conditions.

Beyond 50 days hunger strikers are in serious danger of death due to organ failure. Infamous Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands died in 1981 after 66 days of refusing food in a protest at British rule over the country.

Human rights group Amnesty International has called on Israel to either charge or release Adnan.

“For years Israel has been using administrative detention to lock up Palestinian activists without charge or trial, said Ann Harrison, Amnesty's Deputy Director for the Middle East.

“Military commanders can renew the detention orders repeatedly, so in effect detainees can be held indefinitely. The process violates their right to a fair trial which is guaranteed by international law Israel is obliged to uphold.”

More reaction from Randa:
The wife of the detainee, Randa Adnan, said her husband was being targeted for "assassination," but he’s in good spirits and determined to continue his strike against Israel's "illegitimate and inhumane policies."

Randa was able to visit her husband Tuesday evening at Zeif hospital in Safad.

“Adnan is being targeted for a slow process of assassination” she said. She says she was "shocked" at her husband's condition, and that he told her he feels he’s living the last moments of his life, she said.

"A lot of the hair on his face and head has fallen off. He has not been allowed to shower or wash during all his time in detention, nor is he allowed to wear warm clothes in this cold weather."

She added that "during my visit, my husband's heart swelled up and a medical crew neglected him for half an hour."

Khader Adnan's father announced his hunger strike in solidarity with his son.

Dozens of Palestinians in Ramallah and Gaza have gone on a hunger strike in solidarity with Khader Adnan.

International media has largely ignored Khader Adnan's case, but solidarity around the world is growing.


1.Call and demand the release of Khader Adnan, who has not been charged with any crime but instead is being held under Administrative Detention.
Call the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC (1.202.364.5500) OR your local Embassy (for a list, click here).

Call the office of Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs (1.202.647.7209)

Demand that Jeffrey Feltman bring this issue urgently to his counterparts in Israel and raise the question of Khader Adnan’s administrative detention.

2. Organize a protest outside your local Israeli Embassy (for a list, click here).

Post your local actions to the Khader Adnan facebook page here:

Help us spread the word with social media after you take action.
Download this photo of Khader Adnan to use for your social media profile pictures and click on the suggested messages below and they will be automatically tweeted.

Tweet Now: Take Action Now for #KhaderAdnan #Palestine #Israel

Tweet Now: I just called my local #Israel Embassy to demand #KhaderAdnan’s release. Join me now! ListofEmbassies:

Tweet Now: Sign Petition to #FreeKhader hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner #palestine #KhaderAdnan

3. Other Actions

To contact the authorities within Israel, see Addameer’s appeal.
Other ideas for actions and a letter-writing template can be found on this action alert from Samidoun (The Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network).
See Amnesty International’s report and appeal to action.
Khader Adnan, the father of two daughters and with a third child on the way, is a baker, a Masters student in Economics at Birzeit University, and a political activist. Khader, was arrested on December 17, 2011 by masked soldiers who raided his home in the middle of the night (the village of Arrabe near Jenin in the occupied West Bank). Between the 18th and the 29th of January 2012, he was subjected to almost daily cruel and inhumane interrogations. During interrogations, he was shackled to a crooked chair with his hands tied behind his back in a position that caused him back pain. He said that interrogators threatened him constantly and verbally abused him and his family.

Khader was given a four-month administrative detention order on January 8, 2012. Khader’s interrogation period has ended but he refuses to accept the unjust system of administrative detention [more details], continuing his strike on the principle that such detention is a violation of his rights and identity. Administrative detention, a regular practice of the Israeli occupation, violates the internationally-recognized right to a fair trial. International standards for fair trial must be upheld for all political detainees, including those accused of violence, even under states of emergency. A military judge reviewed the administrative detention order on February 1, 2012 and is expected to inform lawyers of her decision later on this week.

Meanwhile, Khader’s health is deteriorating rapidly and doctors don’t expect him to be able to survive for much longer.


  1. Hmm I think I can't do hunger strike for 53 days even for 3 days only. lol won't survive.

    -Harry M.
    An Organo Gold Affiliate


  2. Part of me thinks this is a bullshit prosecution and another part of me thinks that this person may have been involved a lot more than they can prove right now.
    We will know more after debriefing.

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