May 4, 2011 freeahmadsaadat.org
The Israeli occupation courts have, once again, extended the
isolation of Ahmad Sa'adat. On May 3, 2011, at a hearing in Beersheba
prison, the court issued an extended isolation order until November
3, 2011. Ahmad Sa'adat, General Secretary of the Popular Front for
the Liberation of Palestine and Palestinian national leader, has been
held in isolation since March 19, 2009 - for over two full years,
over 775 days.
It is well-established that solitary confinement and isolation are
dangerous and detrimental to the physical and mental health of
prisoners. It is a technique frequently used against political
prisoners, from the U.S.'s Guantanamo Bay and Communications
Management Units, to Ben Ali's isolation cells in Tunisia, to the
prisons of the occupation. Israel is a signatory to the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, whose articles 10 states that
"All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity
and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person." On
the contrary, isolation cells deprive prisoners of human contact,
recreation, and mental stimulation. Sa'adat is regularly denied
family visits, newspapers, books, and information in Arabic. While
Israel's utter contempt for international law is visible in every
aspect of its behaviour, from its war crimes against Palestinians, to
its denial of the Palestinian right to return, to its apartheid
regime targeting Palestinian citizens, the situation of Palestinian
prisoners is a glaring example of Israel's flouting of international
law and human rights standards.
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) - the expert body associated
with the Council of Europe - has noted, "It is generally acknowledged
that all forms of solitary confinement without appropriate mental and
physical stimulation are likely, in the long-term, to have damaging
effects resulting in deterioration of mental faculties and social
abilities." Those prisoners targeted for isolation, including Ahmad
Sa'adat, are long-time Palestinian leaders. Sa'adat has always been a
leader among his fellow prisoners and a voice of conscience of the
Palestinian people - and it is for that reason that he is being
targeted under cover of secret evidence for isolation and deprivation.
Sa'adat refused to attend the hearing, as an illegal manifestation of
an illegitimate occupation and abduction, and due to its reliance on
secret evidence, saying that he refused to legitimize what was
clearly a mockery of justice.
This extension of isolation comes as Palestinian prisoners have
launched hunger strikes in protest against the use of isolation. The
strikes began on May 3 at Ramon, Ashkelon and Nafha prisons and will
also take place on May 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, and 28. Palestinian
prisoners - inside the jails of the occupation - are taking action
against isolation and demanding freedom. It is imperative that we
echo their voices and demand an end to isolation and freedom for
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat also notes that Dr. Ahmad
Qatamesh, long-time Palestinian activist and writer, has been subject
to the imposition of arbitrary administrative detention and demands
his freedom. As http://addameer.info/?p=2101 Addameer reveals, his
administrative detention order - extended minutes before he was to be
released from was merely copied from another Palestinian prisoner -
bearing witness once again to the fact that administrative detention
is nothing more than an arbitrary kidnapping and imprisonment of
Palestinians, without charge or trial, for six months at a time.
Administrative detention, based on nothing more than secret evidence,
has been used to target and silence Palestinian activists when even
the flimsy standards of Israeli military courts cannot be used to
imprison Palestinian writers, activists and community organizers. The
Campaign demands the freedom of Ahmad Qatamesh and an end to the
horror that is administrative detention, a mechanism of terror
against the Palestinian population.
From administrative detention, to military trials, to the isolation
cells, Israel shows utter contempt for the human rights and dignity
of Palestinian prisoners. In response, it is urgent that supporters
of Palestine and justice around the world raise their voices to
demand an end to isolation, an end to arbitrary detention - and the
freedom of Ahmad Sa'adat and every one of the thousands of
Palestinian prisoners of freedom, in an occupation's jails for daring
to struggle for the freedom of their land and people.
We urge activists to include statements and messages of solidarity
with Palestinian prisoners in their events, and as the anniversary of
Al-Nakba comes near, to mark the Nakba on May 15 by demanding the
right to return and the liberation of Palestine -including the
freedom of Palestinian political prisoners. Palestinian prisoners are
hunger striking and raising their voices behind bars - we must join
their voices and demand their freedom!
Please contact us at
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org to inform
us of your events and actions.
TAKE ACTION TO SUPPORT AHMAD SA'ADAT AND ALL PALESTINIAN PRISONERS!
1. Call the
embassy or consulate in your location and demand the immediate
freedom of Ahmad Sa'adat and all Palestinian political prisoners.
2. 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 mailto:email@example.com, and inform
them about the urgent situation of Ahmad Sa'adat.
3. Email the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat at
announcements, reports and information about your local events,
activities and flyer distributions.
May 4, 2011
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat