On December 17th, 2011, Palestinian political prisoner Khader Adnan was arrested by Israeli forces and placed in administrative detention. On December 18th, 2011, he began a hunger strike in protest of his ill treatment. 54 days later, he is in critical condition. This protest in Chicago was in solidarity with Khader Adnan and all Palestinian political prisoners.
Since the Chicago protest, support for Khader Adnan has spread throughout the United States and the world.
The following is a press release from American University Students:
American University Students are currently participating in a hunger strike, as of Friday,
February 17, in solidarity with Khader Adnan, who began his hunger strike the day
after his arrest on December 17. Adnan, a 33 year old baker, was taken by the Israeli
authorities during a night raid of his home in the West Bank at 3:30am. He has yet to be
charged; we will be on hunger strike until Khader Adnan is charged or released.
All Khader Adnan is asking for, along with the American University hunger strikers and
Amnesty International, is a charge. But the Israeli authorities refuse. According to Al-
Jazeera and Amnesty International, as of December, Israeli prisons have held 307
Palestinians in “administrative detention,” 21 of whom held a position of power on the
Palestinian Legislative Council elected in 2006. The justification of these detentions
is based in Military Order 1650 which allows indefinite detention without trial. These
practices directly violate Articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Last week, Physicians for Human Rights examined Adnan’s condition and
concluded “he is in immediate danger of death.” He has lost 66 lbs and weighs only
132lbs. On Friday, February 17, AU SJP students initiated their own hunger strike,
donating the money they would have spent on food to Addameer, the prisoner support
and human rights association.
AU students have decided to sacrifice their physical energy and dedicate their mental
energy in order to encourage pressure on Israel to treat their prisoners humanely and
in order to show support for Khader Adnan. Khader Anan’s hunger strike has not
only inspired AU students to protest this injustice. Demonstrations have arisen around
the United States, specifically New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and all over the
occupied territories and Israel, in Gaza, Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Haifa, Tel Aviv, and
outside of the Ofer prison that holds Adnan.
Before I could finish typing this post, I caught a news update that makes for a wonderful conclusion. Israel has agreed to release detained Palestinian Khader Adnan without charging him as part of a deal to end his 66-day hunger strike, sources told Al Jazeera. Adnan had been detained by Israeli forces since Dec. 17 and was accused of being a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad. A baker by trade, Adnan was protesting his detention without trial when he set the record for the longest hunger strike by a Palestinian prisoner, which was previously set at 45 days in 1976. Adnan will serve out his administrative detention sentence, which lasts until April 17, and will then be released without charges.