Nidal Abu Aker, imprisoned Palestinian journalist held under administrative detention without charge or trial who has been on hunger strike since 20 August, confirmed that he is continuing his open hunger strike, despite receiving an “assurance in principle” that his administrative detention will not be renewed beyond the current detention period. Click here for the Urgent Call to Action to support the Battle of Breaking the Chains.
Abu Aker, the host of a radio program that deals with prisoners affairs on Voice of Unity radio station broadcast from Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, is on strike with 15 other Palestinian political prisoners in “The Battle of Breaking the Chains,” which he, Shadi Ma’ali, Ghassan Zawahreh, Munir Abu Sharar and Badr al-Ruzza launched on 20 August. The strike is demanding the end of administrative detention, the Israeli practice – continued from a British colonial law – of imprisoning Palestinians without charge or trial for indefinitely renewable periods on secret evidence, and the freedom of all administrative detainees.
Abu Aker has lost 20 kilograms of weight and is experiencing severe pain all over his body. He already suffers from several medical conditions, including high cholesterol and stomach ulcers. All of the strikers are being held in solitary confinement and denied medications.
Abu Aker was visited by Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association lawyer Farah Bayadseh, where he gave her the following letter for Eid al-Adha:
“From Asqelan Prison, from which many activists and strugglers of our people have emerged, from my small cell where I still remain after over a month, I send warm greetings and congratulations to the masses of our people in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, the 1948 Occupied Territories, and the diaspora, on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, and wishing that on this feast day we achieve our freedom, return and self-determination. This holiday comes as we are amid the Battle of Breaking the Chains, which challenges the unjust policy of administrative detention which has affected many of our people; we have spent long years in Israeli jails as a result of this policy.
We also salute the masses of the Arab nation, which is looking forward to freedom and justice, and hoping to rid itself of internal crisis and extreme threatening forces that manufacture sectarian and religious division. And on this feast day, we hope for resolution and that the masses of our nation enjoy peace and democracy.
And we greet all of the free people of the world and all friendly movements that advocate for and support the cause of the Palestinian people, and especially the prisoners, at the forefront. I cannot fail to send my most sincere greetings to the families of the martyrs, the finest of all of us, and to our jailed prisoners, and to the families who ensure we will never be left alone, and to the wounded of our people.
Proceeding from the fact that we know that the will is stronger than the jailer, the cell and the prison, and we know the costs of the positions that we hold and practice and the school of thought to which we belong, we are engaged in fighting our battle. We enjoy all of the strength and courage of those who have deep faith in the justice of the cause which we carry. Because we belong to a revolutionary school with high values and ethics, and because we lived the life of misery mixed with hope of the camps, and because we drew our milk from the heroic, courageous mother Um Nidal, we remain struggling, and we are entering our battles bravely until we achieve our goals.
I cannot fail on this occasion also to express my deep thanks to all my fellow journalists, who have spared no effort in the recruitment of their pens and written reports, radio and television broadcasts, to engage in the press and satellite battle to advocate for our cause, as well as to thank all of the community institutions that support the efforts of this just battle, exposing the policy of administrative detention and building a broader struggle and pressure against this policy.
I also send my sincere salutes from the heart to my comrades in every location and especially in the Dheisheh refugee camp, who inspired all the reasons for the strength of my comrades and I to enter this battle. I smell your scent and feel the reverberations of your pounding the walls and hear the shouts of your throats. And I also greet all of the honorable brothers and sisters who have spared no effort to support this battle, and think that internal Palestinian unity is a key condition to move forwards to achieve our goals, and in this battle present a most positive model in united struggle to publicly support our cause. And I send my greetings to all of the Palestinian factions, whom I call upon to engage strongly in support of this just cause.
I cannot fail in the end to extend my highest and most personal human feelings of greetings and congratulations to my precious family, my strong, struggling mother Um Nidal, my compassionate, good father, Abu Nidal, my dear sisters and brothers, and my beloved, dear wife Manal, assuring her that we will meet again very soon and the sun of freedom will rise again. And to my beloved children, the most precious in my heart – Mohammed, Dalia and Areej – you are the most precious in the world in my heart, and the most beautiful days have not yet come. Rest assured that I love you deeply.
Ultimately, we are fighting this battle to end the unjust policy of administrative detention, that requires collective and united work, and complementary action on official, popular and institutional levels to expose this policy and mount the greatest pressure on the Israeli government and bring this policy to an end, through the activation of all of our relationships at the Palestinian, Arab and international level. All are called upon to participate in this battle.
And last but not least, I send my greetings of admiration and respect for all of the activists who spend day and night in the sit-in tents supporting the prisoners in all areas of Palestine. We appreciate this effort, which flows in the end in the interest of all of our Palestinian just cause, and note that your role brings to mind that people who do not fight for liberation will be treated as subjugated and enslaved. We assure our people that we are ready to struggle and sacrifice, with high optimism and conviction that our inevitable victory is certain.
Best regards and my love,
Nidal Abu Aker
21 September 2015″