November 10, 2009
Ahmad Sa'adat calls from his isolation cell for action to support Palestinian prisoners
Ahmad Sa'adat, imprisoned Palestinian national leader, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Palestinian Legislative Council member, issued a letter from his isolation cell on November 8, 2009, in response to the October 22 international day of action and the efforts of political, social, legal and media organizations in solidarity with Comrade Sa'adat and all Palestinian prisoners, particularly those confronting isolation in the jails of the occupier, calling for ongoing actions against isolation and in support of the prisoners.
Sa'adat's letter expressed his support for the actions and said:
"The policy of isolation is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, and the law of prohibition of torture. This policy is also a systematic practice of killing and destruction of the human personality, and in some cases, a mechanism for carrying out a living death sentence against freedom fighters, particularly those who have served many long years in isolation, such as Hassan Salameh, Jamal Abu Hija, Ibrahim Hamed, Ahmed al-Maghrabi, Abdullah al-Barghouthi and others.
"The policy of isolation, this death penalty imposed upon prisoners and detainees, are not based on any legal grounds. It is a decision of the occupation intelligence services under a secret file that may be seen by nobody but for the judge, who has never denied any decision to isolate a prisoner or made clear any mechanism for the use of isolation.
"The policy of isolation targets the essence of human rights and humanity - the right to social relationships - through isolation from the surrounding environment, and means deprivation of even the minimal rights under the laws of the Israeli Prisons Administration, including access to newspapers, books and clothes. It is collective punishment of prisoners' families as well, as every decision to isolate a prisoner is accompanied by a 3 month prohibition on family visits."
Sa'adat concluded his letter with a call: "The struggle of the prisoners for freedom is part and parcel of the ongoing struggle of our people which will end only with the defeat of occupation across all of the soil of Palestine. I call upon all institutions, activists and organizations to develop an action plan to support the struggle of prisoners in general, and, in particular, the prisoners suffering in isolation."
Join with the Campaign to take action and answer this call!
1.Distribute the Free Ahmad Sa'adat flyer: http://www.freeahmadsaadat.org/saadat-flyer.pdf in your town, city, event or location! Bring the flyers to events and activities, or hold a flyer distribution at a public place.
2. Call the Israeli embassy or consulate in your location(http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Diplomatic+missions/Web+Sites+of+Israeli+Missions+Abroad.htm) and demand the immediate freedom of Ahmad Sa'adat and all Palestinian political prisoners.
3. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and inform them about the urgent situation of Ahmad Sa'adat.
4.Email the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat at email@example.com with announcements, reports and information about your local events, activities and flyer distributions.
The International Day of Action, which took place on October 22, 2009, included protests, sit-ins and media events throughout Palestine and around the world. Events in Palestine took place in Ramallah, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Jenin, Al-Khalil, Gaza City, Rafah, Khan Younis, Nusseirat, and elsewhere. In Amman, Damascus, Saida, and in many Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, events and rallies for Sa'adat and the prisoners took place, while international actions, statements and media campaigns took place around the world - in Brazil, Chile, Galicia, France, Greece, Denmark, Poland, Canada and the United States. In San Francisco, demonstrators who interrupted the speech of former Israeli prime minister and war criminal Ehud Olmert carried posters calling for the freedom of Ahmad Sa'adat, while the World Federation of Democratic Youth called for action from its member organizations.
On October 22, Sa'adat's isolation was extended an additional six months by an Israeli military court, after he had already spent six months in isolation. Sa'adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was elected to his position in 2001 following the assassination of the previous General Secretary, Abu Ali Mustafa, on August 27, 2001 by a U.S.-made Apache missile shot from an Israeli military helicopter as he sat in his office in Ramallah. He was abducted by Palestinian Authority security forces after engaging in a meeting with PA officials under false pretenses in February 2002, and was held in the Muqata' PA presidential building in Ramallah until April 2002, when in an agreement with Israel, the U.S. and Britain, he and four of his comrades were held in the Palestinian Authority's Jericho prison, under U.S. and British guard.
He remained in the PA jails, without trial or charge, an imprisonment that was internationally condemned, until March 14, 2006, when the prison itself was besieged by the occupation army and he and his comrades were kidnapped. While imprisoned in the PA jail in Jericho, he was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council. Since that time, he has been held in the prisons of the occupation and continually refused to recognize the illegitimate military courts of the Israeli occupation. He was sentenced to thirty years in prison on December 25, 2008 solely for his political activity, and has spent over six months in isolation at the present time.
On March 18, 2009, Sa'adat was moved into isolation at Asqelan prison, facing serious medical consequences. In June 2009, Sa'adat engaged in a nine-day hunger strike against his isolation. On August 10, 2009, Sa'adat was moved from the isolation cells at Asqelan to the isolation unit at Ramon prison in the Naqab desert. On October 22, 2009, he was consigned to an additional six months in the isolation cells.
Sa'adat's biography, writings and statements are available at the website of the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat.
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat
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