Caabu demands the British Government urge Israel to release Palestinian detainee Khader Adnan as hunger strike enters day 60
Caabu (The Council for Arab-British Understanding) has written to the British Government to urge them to demand that Israel release Khader Adnan or, if there are valid grounds, charge him with a crime.
In response to his arrest and imprisonment by Israeli authorities – without charge or trial – Khader Adnan began a hunger strike on 18 December 2011. The 33-year-old baker from Jenin in the West Bank was given a four month “administrative detention order” on 8 January 2012, after he had been hospitalised on 30 December. Despite becoming too frail to move, he has spent much of this time shackled to his bed. Adnan’s appeal of 13 February was rejected by the Israeli authorities on the grounds that the initial penalty based on secret evidence was “balanced.”
As of December 31, 307 Palestinians were in Israeli ‘administrative detention’, including 21 elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. These military orders can be renewed indefinitely with no requirement for explanation or for secret evidence to be revealed, even to the accused. By maintaining this practice, Israel consistently violates the right to a fair trial.
Caabu joins Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organisations in calling for action to save Adnan’s life. Chris Doyle, Director of Caabu said:
“Israel must release Khader Adnan or charge him with a crime. Israel’s routine practice of detention without charge or trial, based on secret evidence, must end. The British government and the world rightly demanded for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from illegal detention by Hamas, but it is entirely hypocritical to ignore the continuing imprisonment of hundreds of Palestinians in similar circumstances by Israel.”
Caabu calls on the UK government to urgently intervene on Adnan’s behalf to safeguard his life and uphold his right to a fair trial.
Caabu’s Background work on administrative detention and child prisoners
Caabu has worked on the issue of administrative detention in Israel, especially of children, for many years. Alongside supporting parliamentary debates and Early Day Motions, we have taken several delegations to witness first-hand the process of military ‘trials.’
Lisa Nandy MP witnessed the trial of a shackled 14-year-old at Ofer Prison as part of a Caabu delegation in December 2011. She said:
“In five minutes he had been found guilty of stone-throwing and was sentenced to nine months. It was shocking to see a child being put through this process. It’s difficult to see how a [political] solution can be reached when young people are being treated in this manner. They end up with very little hope for their future and very angry about their treatment.”
Graham Jones MP was part of the same delegation and said:
“We met one mother – an English teacher – who broke down in floods of tears at the sight of her 14 year old son in leg irons having spent 3 months in prison already awaiting trial. She was allowed to see the last 5 minutes of her son’s court appearance for stone throwing. He received 5 months’ imprisonment. On Sunday, 18 December 2011, 55 children were released from the Israeli military detention system as part of a prisoner swap agreement. According to the latest figures, 106 children still remain detained.”
Lord Dubs reported from a delegation in May 2011:
“We saw a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old, one of them in tears, both looking absolutely bewildered … I do not believe this process of humiliation represents justice. I believe that the way in which these young people are treated is in itself an obstacle to the achievement by Israel of a peaceful relationship with the Palestinian people.”
In the coming weeks, Caabu will be publishing a report on Palestinian prisoners, including the case of Khader Adnan.