Palestinian activist and political prisoner Khader Adnan was released this morning, 12 July, following a 55-day hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention without charge or trial.
Adnan, 37, was arrested on 8 July 2014 as part of the mass arrests against Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem immediately prior to and during the Israeli aggression against Gaza, and had been held in administrative detention Ė without charge or trial -since that time. A father of six, Adnan is a baker and a political activist in his hometown of Arraba, near Jenin. He rose to national and international prominence in 2012, when he was similarly imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention and conducted a 66-day hunger strike that, like his 2015 strike, ensured his freedom, sparked numerous other hunger strikes among Palestinian political prisoners, and reinvigorated the movement to support and free Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.
He began his most recent strike on 6 May, following a renewed administrative detention order against him; in January, he had launched a one-week hunger strike warning that any additional renewals of his detention without charge or trial would spark an open-ended strike. During his strike, Adnan refrained from all nourishment except water and salt and was imprisoned, shackled to his bed, in Assaf Harofeh hospital.
His release came at dawn and had been kept a secret from his family; the Israeli occupation forces were attempting to prevent or silence the mass Palestinian welcome and celebration of Khader Adnanís release, another strong defeat to the Israeli system of administrative detention. There are currently over 400 Palestinian prisoners held in administrative detention; currently two administrative detainees, Muhammad Allan and Uday Isteiti, are on hunger strike for 25 and 24 days respectively, demanding their release from administrative detention. Dozens of other Palestinian administrative detainees, particularly those who support the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine or Islamic Jihad, are boycotting the military courts that issue administrative detention orders on the basis of secret evidence.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network congratulates Khader Adnan and the Palestinian people on his repeated, historic victory over the Israeli occupier and its system of repression and incarceration that imprisons approximately 5,000 Palestinians. The struggle to end administrative detention and free all Palestinian prisoners is central to the struggle to free Palestine and the Palestinian people as a whole. Khader Adnanís steadfastness and commitment represents the role of the Palestinian prisoners as the conscience of the liberation struggle, who cannot be broken by torture, isolation or imprisonment; his example makes clear, as the struggle of the Palestinian people has again and again, that the systems of imprisonment and oppression constructed by Israeli occupation and settler colonialism can in fact be defeated. His hunger strikes have strengthened international solidarity with Palestinian prisoners and engaged thousands around the world.
Congratulations and welcome to Khader Adnan, and we will work to see the day soon when every one of the thousands of Palestinians behind bars join you in freedom.