The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat issued the following statement calling for international actions to demand freedom for imprisoned Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat (who was just subject to an Israeli military order banning him from family visits for three more months) and all Palestinian prisoners, and to demand an end to Palestinian Authority security coordination with Israel, on January 15. Actions are already planned in Italy:
January 15, 2015 marks the 13th anniversary of the capture and imprisonment through deception of Palestinian political leader Ahmad Sa’adat at the hands of Palestinian Authority security forces. On January 15-25, 2015, please join the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat in demanding freedom for Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners and an end to PA security coordination with Israel! (Events are already scheduled in Italy – more to come soon!)
On January 15, 2002, Ahmad Sa’adat, Palestinian leader and General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was abducted by Palestinian Authority security services in Ramallah, joining several of his comrades already seized by the Palestinian Authority, following a fraudulent invitation to a meeting by then-PA security official Tawfiq Tirawi. Captured at the behest of Israeli occupying forces, Sa’adat and his comrades wereheld for over four years in the Palestinian Authority’s prison in Jericho, under U.S. and British guards. During that time, Sa’adat was never charged and even the PA’s high court ordered his release: but the demands of Israel, the U.S. and Britain kept him and his comrades behind bars in a Palestinian Authority prison until the prison itself was attacked and the Palestinians held there seized by Israeli military forces on March 14, 2006.
The political imprisonment of Ahmad Sa’adat is perhaps the highest-profile case of what security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority means for Palestinians. Palestinian political activists are detained, questioned and imprisoned by the hundreds by PA security services – based on complaints from Israeli occupation forces – or for “insulting” PA officials on facebook or other social media. In addition, the United States, Canada and theEuropean Union have poured millions of dollars into funding this “security coordination” at the expense of the Palestinian people.
For too many Palestinian political prisoners, Palestinian Authority detention and interrogation has become a “revolving door” with Israeli jails, political imprisonment, and administrative detention without charge or trial. Political prisoners are interrogated upon their release from Israeli jails by PA security forces, while Palestinian activists released from PA custody are frequently once again arrested by Israeli occupation military forces. The military assault and abduction of Sa’adat and his comrades from the PA prison in Jericho, where he was held under US and British guard, to an Israeli prison, is perhaps the most visible example – coming, as it did, after reports that incoming PA officials elected in 2006 might refuse to continue to illegally detain Sa’adat and his comrades.
PA security coordination is part and parcel of the Oslo process, which has been disastrous for the Palestinian people. Rather than leading to any form of real rights, self-determination or independence, the Oslo process and repeated negotiations have created a Palestinian security service that works not to protect the Palestinian people from Israeli military attacks, colonial settler assaults and violence against land and people, but instead to protect the occupier from the legitimate resistance of a colonized people under occupation.
Meanwhile, that occupation force has only escalated its mass imprisonment against the Palestinian people and their leaders. Ahmad Sa’adat has been denied family visits for the past three months – and prohibited from family visits for three months more to come. The denial of family visits is being used as a weapon against Palestinian political prisoners and as a method of collective punishment against Palestinian families; it is a new form of isolation being imposed upon Sa’adat and other Palestinian leaders in an attempt to break their will and the will of the Palestinian people. Over 1,000 Palestinians have been sent to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, in 2014, and there are over 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli occupation prisons.
We demand freedom for all Palestinian political prisoners! End PA Security Coordination with Israel! Stop the denial of family visits!
Use the form to let the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat know about your local action or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will list your events on the Campaign website and publicize them. (Italy day of action scheduled now)
- Protest at your local Israeli consulate or embassy demanding freedom for Palestinian political prisoners.
- Protest at official Palestinian embassies and missions demanding an end to security coordination.
- Phone Palestinian officials at the embassy in your country and call for an end to security coordination with Israel.
- Distribute flyers or handbills about Ahmad Sa’adat and Palestinian prisoners, and security cooperation
- Post or drop a banner calling for freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat and Palestinian prisoners in your city.
- Hold a forum or educational event on Ahmad Sa’adat and Palestinian prisoners’ struggle.