Israel: Palestinian grad student fasting for two months in gaol, close to death-Global Voices

February 18, 2012

[CJ Hinke of FACT comments: Panitan Prueksakasemsuk fasted for 112 hours in front of Bangkok’s Criminal Court recently. His father, Somyot, has been denied bail seven years over lèse majesté charges. In 1932, Gandhi fasted for 21 days against British rule in India. In fact, hunger strikes even appear in the epic Ramayana, composed around 750 BC. Several Indian notables fasted to death in protest campaigns. Many Irish Republican prisoners fasted to death with the longest lasting 94 days as have Cuban dissidents and Turkish political prisoners. See the Wikipedia entry here: This is serious stuff—prolonged fasting will resulted in kidney failure and blindness before death. Will Israelis listen?]

“Dying to Live”: Khader Adnan’s Hunger Strike for Palestinian Rights

Leila Nachawati Rego

Global Voices: February 15, 2012

“By the time you read these words, Khader Adnan could be dead.”

This is how Palestinian activist Ali Abunimah starts his piece on the 33-year-old Palestinian baker and graduate student who has been on hunger strike in an Israeli prison since December 18, 2012. Adnan is on strike to protest a raid on his family home by Israeli occupation forces and to bring worldwide attention to the fact that Palestinians are held without being charged on a daily basis.

After two months of refusing any food, Adnan’s vital organs may cease to function at any moment, but his spirit remains unbroken. On a message widely shared by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, he asserts:

I hereby assert that I am confronting the occupiers not for my own sake as an individual, but for the sake of thousands of prisoners who are being deprived of their simplest human rights while the world and international community look on.

Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians have occurred in front of Ofer prison, where Adnan remains in detention. The tension will probably increase over the next few days, since demonstrations are being planned all over the country in solidarity with the striking prisoner. Palestinian activist Thameena Husary [ar] tweeted:

دعوات للانضمام للفعاليات الاحتجاجة. غدا في الناصرة 19:00 مساء. في شفاعمرو يوم الجمعة 19:00. يوم السبت أم الفحم 16:00. ‎#Respect4Khader

We invite you all to protest tomorrow in Nazareth at 7 pm, in Shafa Amr on Friday at 7 pm, in Umm al-Fahm at 4pm. #Respect4Khader

   Clashes at Ofer Prison [Fadi Arouri] 

On Twitter, under several different hashtags–such as #khaderanan, #respect4khaled, #hungerstrike, #freekhaderadnan and #dying2live–netizens have expressed their outrage at the injustice Palestinians suffer under Israeli apartheid. The Internet is also flooded with videos such as  “Solidarity, Dying to live,” where people from all over the world stand in solidarity with Adnan and demand his immediate release. 

Several netizens have referred to the fact that other imprisoned Palestinians have also started a hunger strike. Journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin tweeted:

@ASE:Palestinian inmates join #KhaderAdnan, who has gone w/out food or water to protest arbitrary detention…

Gaza TV News brings attention to the messages of support Adnan has received:

Khader Adnan receives message of support from former Hunger Striker Tommy McKearney! #dyingtolive

Netizens are also using attention brought to Khader Adnan’s critical condition to share other cases of human rights abuses by the Israeli forces. Palestinian activist Maat Musleh highlights:

#IOF snipers just target another child after hitting a child in the eye, both are rushed to the hospital #FreeKhaderAdnan

While solidarity from citizens all over the world increases, political representatives such as British Foreign Minister William Hague remain silent as the longest hunger striking Palestinian prisoner in history enters his 60th day on strike.  As Ali Abunimah tweeted:

Sarkozy, Ban Ki-moon & others met with family of Israeli ex-POW but ignore #KhaderAdnan & other Palestinian prisoners.


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