Growing support for international action on Palestinian Political Prisoners Day

The list of organizations that have endorsed the call to support Khader Adnan’s fight for the rights of Palestinian political prisoners is growing. UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights Richard Falk expressed his support to the call in an email to the intitiators. South African former political prisoners who resisted apartheid have added their weight to the call, including Ahmed Kathrada - a veteran of the South African liberation struggle who spent more than 26 years in prison.

Khader Adnan made international headlines with his 66-day hunger strike his administrative detention. He called for international support to force Israel to respect international human rights and stop treating Palestinian prisoners as if they were not humans. His determination sparked off international action, including the call to make 17 April – Palestinian Political Prisoners’ Day - a Day of International Action. That same day, Khader Adnan will be released, according to an agreement between Adnan’s lawyers and Israel.

The initiators of the Day of International Action aim to trigger a global movement that will address Israel’s ongoing violations of the rights of the Palestinian political prisoners. They call for the immediate release of all Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel because they have been targeted by an unfair and unequal legal system. In addition, they want Israel to immediately halt its practices of:

  • Administrative detention.
  • Torture and ill-treatment of detainees.
  • Solitary confinement and isolation.
  • The use of military courts in the occupied Palestinian territory that illegally try civilians.
  • Undermining a fair trial by using secret evidence against the accused.
  • Arresting vulnerable groups, such as children, disabled, elderly and ill people.

By joining forces on 17 April, a clear message is sent to Israel that it must immediately halt its violations of the rights of Palestinian political prisoners. Organizations are invited to participate and to endorse the call.

Action by Students for Justice in Palestine

Meanwhile, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in the United States – a signatory of the call global action on 17 April – have started a campaign calling for the immediate release of Khader Adnan and all the detainees that are held in administrative detention, and to raise awareness on the plight of Palestinian political prisoners.

SJP writes in a call to action:

For 64 years now, Palestinian political prisoners have endured deplorable torture, abuse, and persecution, yet remain steadfast in their commitment to the struggle for liberation and return. Palestinian prisoners represent a microcosm of Israel’s brutal occupation, crippling siege, and systematic discrimination. Hunger strikes are prisoners’ means to resist such oppression and serve as “the final act of desperation, your own body is your last resource for protest” (Bobby Sands, Irish hunger striker).

Hunger strikes are essentially the only way that Palestinian political prisoners’ voices might be heard outside the vile Israeli military detention systems in which they are detained. Students for Justice in Palestine call on all student organizations to immediately raise their voices and take action on their respective campuses and communities. Tomorrow is not promised for Khader Adnan. His courage compels us all to commit to his message, support his action, demand his freedom and the freedom of all detainees on administrative detention— the struggle does not end with the victory of one man.

SJP has several suggestions for immediate action that include putting pressure on the US administration:

  • Write to President Obama and voice your concern and demand that the US administration intervene for the immediate release of Khader Adnan from administrative detention and condemn Israel for their policy of administrative detention:. You can use the online form at:
  • Call US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: (202) 647-4000 or Office of Near East Affairs: (202) 647-7209. Demand that the Secretary intervene for the immediate release of Khader Adnan and all detainees on administrative detention, particularly children.
  • Organize rallies, demonstrations for Khader Adnan and all political prisoners on your campus. Protest the prison industrial system’s systematic targeting of minorities whether here in the US or by Israel.
  • Hold a teach-in on Palestinian political prisoners and the Israeli prison industrial complex, as well as other common struggles.




Adri Nieuwhof

Adri Nieuwhof's picture

Adri Nieuwhof is a human rights advocate based in the Netherlands and former anti-apartheid activist at the Holland Committee on Southern Africa. Twitter: @steketeh