Collective declaration of administrative detainees in occupation prisons

On Friday, August 19, administrative detainees – held without charge or trial under indefinitely renewable orders – in Zionist prisons issued a statement calling for more solidarity, action and mobilization to support Palestinian prisoners inside occupation prisons, especially to end detention without charge or trial, especially Khalil Awawdeh, on his 170th day of hunger strike for release:

The text of the declaration follows:

A statement issued by administrative detainees in occupation prisons, as received by the prisoners’ committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

At the Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate

To the International Federation of Journalists

To all concerned,

We speak to you from inside the prisons of the Zionist occupation, where we, the administrative detainees in the prisons of the occupation, face an escalation in the use of the arbitrary policy of administrative detention in violation of the international law, which in its two aspects: human rights and international humanitarian law, have imposed strict conditions on the practice of this form of detention.

The occupation has recently intensified its targeting of us as political and social activists in administrative detention, including all activities and expressions of political opinion, as well as any community or union work activity or presence. We see this as an overall targeting of our Palestinian national cause and a moral attack on our people as a whole. The case of administrative detention recalls the story of Sisyphus in Greek myth, where he angered the gods and was doomed to eternal torment, represented by forever, repeatedly rolling a boulder up a hill so that he falls again before reaching the top. Thus, his torture became eternal. In our case, we, as administrative detainees, are faced with a firm and permanent policy, in which as soon as detention is lifted from us once, it is only to detain us again a second, third, fourth and more times, like an eternal torture for us and our families.

Some of us have been held in administrative detention by order of the Shin Bet security apparatus for 15 years, since the beginning of the second millennium, spread over several consecutive instances, separated by a few months at a time.

Those who face the sword of administrative detention, like our fellow fighter Khalil Awawdeh, who has been on a hunger strike for more than 5 months against this fascist and arbitrary detention and who daily faces the risk of death, while he and his family are suffering and the media express in a few words his pain and that of his wife and four daughters. As his father said, I have only slept 40 hours in the last 40 days, which clearly indicates that the families of administrative detainees suffer from the cruelty of this practice of detention, perhaps more than the prisoners themselves. This collective punishment is not only illegal but also a fascist practice of inhumanity.

We look forward to your intervention to save the life of our colleague Awawdeh, who awaits justice from heaven, and which was not obtained by the occupation court. In the same context, journalist and community animator Nidal Abu Aker, 50, from Dheisheh camp in Bethlehem, had only 75 days of freedom after his release before being arrested again and ordered by the Shin Bet for a period of six months, subject to renewal. This happened after spending 23 months in arbitrary detention and more than 13 years of cumulative administrative detention since the Great Intifada. A Shin Bet officer told him upon his arrest, “Until I rest with my daughters, you must stay in prison and I won’t let you attend your son’s party. Abu Aker faces systemic torture that is repeated daily against our people, including the sick, women and the elderly.

We look forward to you activating your role as journalists and human rights organizers against this unjust policy, and we are convinced that your role is of great importance in exposing and revealing this arbitrary Israeli policy, and we look forward to your support and cooperation with us to achieve our freedom.

Administrative detainees in occupation prisons
August 19, 2022

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Download these flyers and posters to distribute to highlight the case of Khalil Awawdeh and the struggle for the release of Palestinian prisoners:

1. Mobilize actions, demonstrations and creative interventions – Take to the streets to defend the Palestinian people and their resistance! As made clear during the Unity Intifada/Seif al-Quds in May 2021, there is widespread support for the Palestinian people all over the world, including within the imperialist powers. It is our responsibility to act and make it impossible for them to continue supporting the crimes against the Palestinian people.

2. Building the Boycott of Israel – This is a critical time to intensify the campaign to isolate the Israeli regime at all levels, including through boycott campaigns that target the occupation’s economic exploitation of Palestinian land, people and resources as well than international companies, like HP and G4S, who profit from the ongoing colonization of Palestine.

3. Support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people – This aggression was an extension of the siege of Gaza imposed on the resistant and steadfast strip for more than 15 years. The Palestinian people need economic, political and all-round support to help them maintain their steadfastness. To contribute to Samidoun’s campaign for health care for children in Gaza, donate at https://samidoun.net/gaza

Michael A. Bynum