Khader Adnan and the Global Voices of Protest
By Dima Ansari, Communications Intern
It has become a scary trend worldwide: to be arrested, interrogated, indefinitely detained and/or maybe even killed without being charged with a crime or given a fair trial.
Khader Adnan, a Palestinian detained by the Israeli army, received international attention as he went on a hunger strike for 66 days protesting his violent arrest and indefinite detention.
“The Israeli occupation has gone to extremes against our people, especially prisoners. I have been humiliated, beaten, and harassed by interrogators for no reason, and thus I swore to God I would fight the policy of administrative detention to which I and hundreds of my fellow prisoners fell prey,” stated Adnan in a letter.
Arrested at his West Bank home on December 17, Adnan was taken from his wife and two daughters at 3:30 am on “secret evidence” found against him. The Israeli army has withheld information from Adnan and his lawyer as to what these allegations might be.
Israel accuses Adnan of being the spokesperson for the group Islamic Jihad and sees him as a security threat to Israel.
However, Adnan’s peaceful protest against the violation of his human rights, especially in light of the lack of material charges presented, brought him worldwide support and solidarity.
On Monday, the hashtag #KhaderAdnan was the third largest trending topic on Twitter, wielding to an international online protest.
Just today, after 66 days of starvation, the Israeli Supreme Court has agreed to free Adnan from custody on April 17.
Why is Adnan finally being released? It seems that the Israeli government has no choice but to release him due to worldwide objection. Now, the “threat” to the Israeli government is international condemnation and possibly a closer scrutiny of its “administrative detention” policy.
Adnan was given a four month detention order “which can be renewed indefinitely, after a military judge review[s] classified information against him,” stated Joseph Dana in The National.
According to Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director of Human Rights Watch, “Israel should immediately end its unlawful administrative detention of Adnan and charge or release him.”
“Under administrative detention, detainees’ rights to a fair trial as guaranteed by Article 14 of the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) are consistently violated,” stated Amnesty International.
Currently, over 300 Palestinian detainees (including children under 18) are held illegally without charge, trial, or knowledge of their alleged “crimes.” These policies are a part of a greater illegalities of Israeli occupation and apartheid in Palestine.
While this may seem to be an isolated case, the United States, just like Israel, also has an administrative detention policy in place. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was signed into law by President Obama on December 31, 2011, allows the indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens without charge or trial. These grave injustices link the movements for justice between U.S. citizens and Palestinians in the occupied territories, and highlight the global protest in solidarity with Khader Adnan.
When Adnan addressed the international community in his letter, he wrote:
“It is time the international community and the UN support prisoners force the State of Israel to respect international human rights and stop treating prisoners as if they were not humans.”
To learn more about Khader Adnan’s case, click here.