Adnan, a Palestinian, has been on hunger strike ever since his 17 December detention without charge or trial by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank.
In the 3-minute video, McKearney begins his comments with these words:
My name is Tommy McKearney. I’m a former member of the IRA. Thirty two years ago I was on hunger strike for 53 days in the H Blocks. Today Khader Adnan will be 54 days on hunger strike. Held by the Israeli government on administrative detention, in other words without charge or conviction, he is battling against atrocious conditions and a very unjust system. His life is ebbing away in a very cruel and harsh regime. His conditions are hard, difficult and awful. The world must intervene to save this man’s life in the name of humanity, in the name of decency, in the name of justice and legality.
Fifty-four days on hunger strike his body is beginning to collapse. We can’t say for sure whether this man will be alive tonight or tomorrow night because at this stage he has passed a critical point in which a human body can survive without food or nourishment. His pain is enormous, but his plight is deplorable…
McKearney was among a group of seven Irish Republican prisoners who went on hunger strike at the notorious British-run Maze Prison in 1980. The following year 23 more prisoners, went on hunger strike. The strikes were sparked by punitive British conditions against political prisoners.
Ten of the men fasted until death, perhaps the best known of whom was Bobby Sands who died on 5 May 1981 after 66 days on hunger strike. Sands was 27 years old. The Irish hunger strikes attracted world-wide sympathy and became a symbol of the Irish struggle.