International effort to free PFLP leader Ahmad Sa'adat
Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat.
Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat calls for UN to defend prisoners' rights
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat has issued an international call for signatures to a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon calling upon him and the United Nations to uphold their responsibilities and place pressure upon the Israeli regime to free Palestinian prisoners.
The Campaign is collecting signatures on the letter, which it plans to deliver to Ban Ki-Moon on July 8, 2009. The letter has been signed by a wide array of organizations, including trade union groups, solidarity groups, lawyers' organizations, Palestinian community associations and institutions, human rights groups, and many others, as well as by many activists and academics. Signatories include UK MP George Galloway, Comrade Leila Khaled, former Member of European Parliament Ulla Sandbaek and hundreds of others.
The full list of signatories will be released on July 8, 2009, and the Campaign will continue to collect signatures until that time through its website or via email at [email protected].
The Campaign's statement is below:
We are asking for your endorsement and that of your organization to the below letter, inspired by the hunger strike of imprisoned Palestinian national leader Ahmad Sa'adat, calling upon United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to uphold his responsibilities and take action to protect the rights, health and lives of Palestinian prisoners and demand the freedom of all 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners. This letter will be delivered to Ban Ki-Moon's office on July 8, 2009. Please send your endorsement as quickly as possible in order to ensure it is included, preferably before July 5, 2009. This initiative is being supported by the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat. Please send endorsements to [email protected]. We welcome endorsements from all organizations, individuals, coalitions and institutions in support of the goals of this letter and the rights and freedom of Palestinian prisoners.
Dear Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon;
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, call upon you to immediately take action in defense of the lives, health and rights of the over 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners held inside Israeli occupation jails. This number includes numerous elected members of Palestinian Legislative Council, among them Ahmad Sa'adat, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; Marwan al-Barghouthi, Fateh leader; Abdel-Aziz Dweik, Hamas leader and President of the Council, just freed after three years in prison, and dozens of other elected political leaders, in addition to thousands of other Palestinian activists, union members, community organizers, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.
Palestinian prisoners suffer in conditions that violate international standards and norms, and are imprisoned because they refuse to accept a brutal occupation of their land and their people. Ahmad Sa'adat recently waged a nine-day hunger strike in protest of the policy of isolation and solitary confinement that has recently been escalated against Palestinian prisoners. Palestinian prisoners have been denied family visits, at times for years, denied access to all books and magazines, and denied even communication with their fellow prisoners in the isolation units. Palestinian prisoners, including Sa'adat, are currently denied necessary health care and medical treatment.
Palestinian prisoners are placed into isolation because they are national leaders and because the Palestinian prisoner movement has been an inspiration to all Palestinians and all who struggle for freedom. Ahmad Sa'adat's hunger strike has sparked thousands of people around the world to appeal for his release, as a living example who symbolizes the steadfastness and strength of the Palestinian prisoners amid isolation and dire conditions, and it must compel all of those outside the prisons to act. Many Palestinian and international human rights and social justice organizations have called for the release of Sa'adat and to ensure the safety of his life and health, as well as for freedom and protection for all Palestinian prisoners.
The fate of these 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners is a fundamental issue of justice. Palestinians, in Palestine and in exile, are denied their rights – to return home, to self-determination, and to freedom, and those who seek to secure those rights are subject to imprisonment, whether within the open-air prisons of Gaza under siege or the walled-in West Bank, or the jails of the occupation. The silent, and at times, active, complicity of international agencies, particularly the United Nations, in the denial of Palestinian rights must not continue.
We call upon you to uphold your responsibilities and exert all pressure to end torture, cruel and inhuman treatment of Palestinian prisoners, and to free every Palestinian political prisoner from Israel's occupation jails.
Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat
Al-Awda Newspaper and Publishing House, Chicago
Al-Fajr News, Tunisia
Alliance for People's Health
Al-Nakba Awareness Project
American Iranian Friendship Committee
Artists to End the Occupation
Association Réveil des Consciences
Arab American Community Center, Youngstown, OH
Arab American Union Members Council
Arab Muslim American Federation
Arab Resource and Organizing Center, San Francisco, CA
Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine
Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace & Justice
Campaign to Free Marwan Barghouti and All Prisoners
Canadian Arab Federation
Canada Palestine Association – Vancouver
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (Toronto)
Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche Orient, Luxembourg
Committee of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – Argentina
Committee of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – Brazil
Committee of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – Ecuador
Committee of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – Uruguay
Coordination de l'Appel de Strasbourg pour une Paix juste au Proche-Orient
Danish Communist Party
Free Gaza Movement
Free Palestine Alliance
The Freedom Archives
Freedom Road Socialist Organization
French Committee to Free Georges Ibrahim Abdallah (Collectiv pour la libération de Georges Ibrahim Abdallah)
Friends of Al-Aqsa
General Union of Workers of Chile
International Action Center
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
International Platform Against Isolation (IPAI)
International Platform of Jurists for East Timor, Leiden, Netherlands
International Republican Socialist Network
International Socialist Organization
International Solidarity Movement – France
Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America
Irish Republican Socialist Party
Jericho Movement – NYC
Jewish People's Liberation Organization
Justice for Palestinians, San Jose, CA
Kommunistische Initiative Deutschlands (KI)/Communist Initiative Germany
L'Observatoire Tunisien pour les Droits et les Libertés Syndicales
Middle East Children's Alliance
National Boricua Human Rights Network
National Democratic Action Society of Bahrain
National Lawyers Guild
New Jersey Solidarity – Activists for the Liberation of Palestine
New Orleans Palestine Solidarity
NYC Labor Against the War
NY Committee For Human Rights in the Philippines
No One Is Illegal – Vancouver
Palestine Solidarity Group – Chicago
Palestine Solidarity Committee – Seattle
Palestine Think Tank
Palestinian American Youth, Youngstown, OH
The Palestinian Cultural and Political Club of Boston
Palestinian Democratic Committee – Chile
Palestinian Federation of Chile
Palestinian Youth Network
PATOIS: New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival
Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism!
Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR) of Ecuador
Secretariat Nationale de la Voie Democratique Maroc
Socialist Party of Malaysia
TLAXCALA activist translators' collective
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) (Popular Conference)
Vent Libertaire 29, France
Voice of Palestine, Canada
War Times/Tiempo De Guerra
Women Against Military Madness
Women's Peace Speakers Series, Honolulu, Hawaii