Confronting Deportation, Medical Neglect, Administrative Detention and the Imprisonment of the Martyrs
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“The Palestinian struggle for national liberation is part and parcel of the international movement of peoples for national liberation, international racial and economic justice, and an end to occupation, colonialism and imperialism.” – Ahmad Sa’adat
As we mark the 14th anniversary of the Israeli sentencing of Palestinian national liberation and international Left leader Ahmad Sa’adat, and the 14th anniversary of the brutal Israeli assault on Gaza, “Operation Cast Lead,” Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all who stand with Palestine and justice for the Palestinian people to join us between 14 and 24 January 2023 in a week of action to free Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners.
Ahmad Sa’adat, his comrades, and their fellow Palestinian prisoners are resistance leaders, on the front lines for justice and liberation, enduring hunger strikes and struggling relentlessly with an unbreakable will toward freedom.
Ahmad Sa’adat is the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Palestinian national liberation movement leader and a symbol of the international left and revolutionary movements. He was sentenced to 30 years in Israeli prison on 25 December 2008 after being violently abducted from the Palestinian Authority’s Jericho prison in 2006, accused of leading a prohibited organization and “incitement.” The PFLP, like all Palestinian political parties and resistance organizations, is labeled a “prohibited organization” by the Israeli occupation authorities.
Sa’adat is a leader in the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and the Palestinian national liberation movement and a Palestinian, Arab and international symbol of resistance to capitalism, racism, apartheid and colonization. Targeted for his political role and clarity of vision, he remains unable to be silenced despite the oppression imposed upon him and 4,750 fellow Palestinian political prisoners.
As we organize this week of action, the Palestinian prisoners’ movement is confronting several priorities: Challenging medical neglect, which led to the December death of longtime Palestinian resistance leader Nasser Abu Hmaid, and against which Palestinian thinker Walid Daqqa now struggles. Confronting forced deportation, especially following the forcible expulsion and stripping of Jerusalem identity from Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri, now expelled to France. Fighting administrative detention, arbitrary imprisonment without charge or trial under which 820 Palestinian prisoners – out of 4,750 in total – are currently held. Liberating the bodies of the martyrs, including Abu Hmeid and 11 more Palestinians whose bodies remain imprisoned even after their death, a form of collective punishment and torture targeting their families. All of these are key to the ongoing fight to liberate all Palestinian prisoners and all of Palestine, from the river to the sea.
On 15 January 2023, we will mark the 21st anniversary of Sa’adat’s arrest by the Palestinian Authority in the context of “security cooperation” with the Israeli occupation, a practice that continues to this day, despite broad Palestinian rejection. The Palestinian Authority kidnapped Sa’adat and his comrades under false pretenses and imprisoned them for four years before its prison was attacked by the Israeli occupation. This is just one of the devastating consequences for Palestinians of the Madrid-Oslo path and the creation of the Palestinian Authority in the so-called “peace process” that has been in reality a project for the liquidation of Palestine.
Today, Palestinian resistance fighters and strugglers continue to be pursued by the PA, working as an agent of the Israeli occupation, imprisoned in PA jails in a “revolving door” with the Israeli occupation and subjected to torture akin to that from the occupation interrogators.
Sa’adat’s case represents the colonial nature of Israeli imprisonment that aims to target the legitimate leadership of the Palestinian people. His boycott of the Zionist military courts reflects his principled commitment to reject colonization in all forms. His case also reflects the role of imperialist powers like the United States, Britain and Canada, and the collusion of the Palestinian Authority and its “security coordination” regime in the oppression of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance.
While held in the PA’s Jericho Prison, Sa’adat and his comrades were held under U.S, British, Canadian and other foreign guards. Some of those same British guards previously served to guard Irish Republican prisoners in the occupied North of Ireland. After a violent Israeli attack in 2006 designed to prevent new Palestinian leaders from freeing the prisoners, Ahmad Sa’adat and his comrades are now serving lengthy sentences in Israeli prisons.
The direct involvement of the US, Canada and Britain in his imprisonment illustrates why international action in this case is so necessary. The support of these imperialist countries, the European Union, Australia and others for the Israeli colonial project continues to perpetuate its impunity as it carries out land confiscations, home demolitions, mass imprisonment, extrajudicial executions, the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, the siege on Gaza and further crimes against humanity and war crimes.
We also note that prisoners of the Palestinian liberation movement continue to be held in international jails as well, especially Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, jailed in France for 38 years despite being eligible for release since 1999, and Ghassan Elashi, Shukri Abu Baker and Mufid Abdulqader of the Holy Land Five, jailed in the U.S. since 2008 for their charitable work for Palestinians, and we join the call for their liberation.
As Sa’adat was persecuted by the Israeli occupation for leading an “illegal organization”, the PFLP and other Palestinian resistance groups are listed in the U.S., Europe, Canada and elsewhere on so-called “terrorist lists”. These designations are used to criminalize resistance, much as the Palestinian prisoners are criminalized. Now, the Israeli occupation is attempting to use terror designations to suppress organizing and activism from grassroots organizations and civil society groups as well as resistance organizations. “Terror” labels are used as a colonial weapon against resistance movements, and we affirm: Resistance is a right!
On 14-24 January 2023, join our collective call for the freedom of Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners, with action and global solidarity to escalate the boycott of Israel, end aid and support to Israel, organize for justice in Palestine and resist imperialism and colonialism.
- Organize events, actions and protests to demand freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners! Protest in public squares and other open community spaces. Note that these dates are also the anniversary of Israel’s bloody “Cast Lead” attack on Gaza in 2008-2009 –we urge you to include both in your event. Email us at email@example.com to inform us about your events or actions.
- Highlight the key themes of this year’s campaign: Deportation, Medical Neglect, Administrative Detention and the Imprisonment of the Martyrs. Share information on your social media pages, and discuss these issues in your public events and demonstrations.
- Join the social media campaign. Post a photo or a video with a message calling for freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat and his fellow Palestinian prisoners and the hashtag #FreeAhmadSaadat. You can use the posters below. Send us your photo by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
- Include Ahmad Sa’adat and the Palestinian prisoners in your Palestine solidarity, anti-racism, anti-imperialist and social justice events. Bring flyers and posters or share a statement from Sa’adat as part of your program. Let us know what you’re doing: Email us at email@example.com or send us a message on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
- Boycott Israel! Ahmad Sa’adat says: “I call on all forces of progress, freedom and democracy to stand by the struggle of our people through all forms of boycott: political, economic, academic and cultural of the occupation state and the creation of a real economic cost for its industries of colonization and settlement and escalating the global campaigns for boycott of all corporations that support and invest in the occupation militarily and economically.” Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. Join direct actions to challenge war profiteers (like the Elbit campaign with Palestine Action) and boycott complicit corporations like Puma and HP.
Posters and Campaign Materials
Graphics and Posters are available in multiple languages (English, Arabic, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Farsi, Swedish, Danish, Italian, Portuguese)! Please see below. With any special requests or additions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat
The General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Sa’adat was arrested by the Palestinian Authority on 15 January 2002 and jailed under US and British guard. After a violent attack in 2006, he was kidnapped by occupation forces; he is now serving a 30-year sentence in Israeli prison.
الحُرّية للقائد الوطني الأسير أحمد سعدات
أحمد سعدات : الأمين العام للجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين. إعتقلته الأجهزة الأمنية الفلسطينية في مدينة رام الله يوم 15 يناير 2002 وجرى وضعه تحت حراسة أمريكية ـ بريطانية في سجن أريحا . في 14 أذار / مارس 2006 هاجمت قوات الإحتلال الإسرائيلي سجن اريحا واختطفته مع عدد من رفاقه الأسرى. وفي 25 ديسيمبر 2008 أصدرت محكمة صهيونية غير شرعية حُكمًا بالسجن ضده لمدة 30 عامًا .
Liberté pour Ahmad Sa’adat
Sa’adat, secrétaire général du Front Populaire de Libération de la Palestine, a été arrêté par l’Autorité Palestinienne le 15 janvier 2002 et emprisonné sous surveillance américaine et britannique. Après une violente attaque en 2006, il a été kidnappé par les forces d’occupation. Il purge actuellement une peine de 30 ans dans une prison israélienne.
Vrijheid voor Ahmad Sa’adat
De Generaal-Secretaris van het Volksfront voor de Bevrijding van Palestina (PFLP), Sa’adat werd door de Palestijnse Autoriteit gearresteerd op 15 januari 2002. Vervolgens werd hij bewaakt door Britse en Amerikaanse troepen. Maar na een Israëlische aanval in 2006 werd Sa’dat gekidnapt; hij zit nu een 30-jarige celstraf uit.
Freiheit für Ahmad Sa’adat
Der Generalsekretär der Volksfront für die Befreiung Palästinas, Sa’adat, wurde am 15. Januar 2002 von der Palästinensischen Autonomiebehörde verhaftet. Das Gefängnis, in dem Sa’adat inhaftiert war, wurde von US-amerikanischen und britischen Soldaten bewacht. Nach einem gewaltsamen Angriff im Jahr 2006 wurde er von Besatzungstruppen entführt. Er verbüßt jetzt eine 30-jährige Haftstrafe in einem israelischen Gefängnis.
Libertad para Ahmad Sa’adat
Sa’adat, secretario general del Frente Popular de Liberación de Palestina, arrestado por la autoridad palestina el 15 de enero de 2002 y encarcelado bajo vigilancia americana y británica. Después de un ataque violento en 2006, fue secuestrado por las fuerzas de ocupación. Cumple actualmente una pena de 30 años en una prisión israelí.
Frihet åt Ahmad Sa’adat
Den 15:e januari 2002 arresterade Palestinska myndigheten Ahmad Sa’adat, generalsekreterare för Folkfronten för Palestinas befrielse. Sa’adat sattes därefter i fångenskap under USA:s och Storbritanniens regi. Under ett våldsamt angrepp 2006 kidnappades han av Israels ockupationsstyrkor och nu avtjänar han ett 30-årigt straff på israeliskt fängelse.
Frihed for Ahmad Sa’adat
Generalsekretæren for PFLP (Folkefronten til Palæstinas Befrielse), Ahmad Sa’adat, blev arresteret af det palæstinensiske selvstyre (PA) den 15. Januar 2002 og fængslet under US-amerikansk og britisk overvågning. Under et voldsomt angreb i 2006 blev han kidnappet af besættelsesstyrker og har siden været indespærret i israelske fængsler, idømt 30 års fængsel.
Libertà per Ahmad Sa’adat
Sa’adat, segretario generale del Fronte Popolare di Liberazione della Palestina, è stato arrestato dall’autorità Palestinese il 15 gennaio 2002 e imprigionato e sorvegliato dalle autorità americane e britanniche. Dopo un violento attacco nel 2006, è stato rapito dalle forze d’occupazione. Sconta attualmente una pena di 30 anni in una prigione Israeliana.
Statements and Writings by Ahmad Sa’adat
- Ahmad Sa’adat: Prisons, the Black Liberation Movement, and the Struggle for Palestine (Jadaliyya, 24 January 2019)
- Letter from Ahmad Sa’adat to Georges Abdallah: “You remain a symbol and a model for us” (Samidoun, 4 September 2017)
- Ahmad Sa’adat issues statement to Resistance Festival in Greece (4 October 2017)
- International Workers Day: On May 1, Ahmad Sa’adat’s message from prison to the international left. (Free Ahmad Sa’adat, 30 April 2017)
- Interview with Ahmad Sa’adat: Prisoners’ struggle is critically important for the Palestinian liberation movement (Free Ahmad Sa’adat, 19 April 2017)
- Call to action from Ahmad Sa’adat: Boycott Israel! (Samidoun, 29 July 2015)
- Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat from prison: We are struggling for democracy, liberation and justice for all (Samidoun, 11 December 2015)
- Interview with Ahmad Sa’adat: Leading from Prison, Ending Negotiations, and Rebuilding the Resistance (Journal of Palestine Studies, Summer 2014)
- Ahmad Sa’adat’s message to the Landless Workers’ Movement congress: Full Text (Free Ahmad Sa’adat, 13 February 2014)
- Ahmad Sa’adat’s Message to the World Social Forum – Free Palestine (Free Ahmad Sa’adat, 29 November 2012)
- Sa’adat from Isolation: Security Cooperation and PA Political Detention Must End (Free Ahmad Sa’adat, 29 January 2012)
- Ahmad Sa’adat greets Conference in Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners in Morocco (Free Ahmad Sa’adat, 25 January 2011)
- Ahmad Sa’adat Greets the US Social Forum (Free Ahmad Sa’adat, 18 June 2010)
- Ahmad Sa’adat speaks from isolation in Asqelan: The so-called “Two state solution” is a threat to the Palestinian people and the right to return (Free Ahmad Sa’adat, 1 June 2009)
- Ahmad Sa’adat statement before sentencing (Free Ahmad Sa’adat, 25 December 2008)
- Ahmad Sa’adat’s statement to Ofer military court (Free Ahmad Sa’adat, 14 January 2007)
- Interview with Ahmad Sa’adat in his Jericho prison cell (Solidaire, 15 June 2006)
- Interview with Ahmad Sa’adat (Mireille Terrin, Chris den Hond, 5 January 2005)
- Creating a Pole of the Democratic Left: Interview with Ahmad Sa’adat (Mireille Court, Chris den Hond, August 2004)
- The Popular Palestinian Intifada – Where is it heading? (Free Ahmad Sa’adat, 28 September 2003)
- Interview With Imprisoned PFLP General Secretary Ahmad Saadat (Fight Back News, 1 June 2003)
Resources and Articles on Ahmad Sa’adat
- Georges Abdallah’s message to the International Week of Solidarity to Free Ahmad Sa’adat (Samidoun, 17 January 2022)
- Video: The Palestinian Cause, the Prisoners’ Movement and the Case of Ahmad Sa’adat (Samidoun, 17 January 2022)
- 13th anniversary of the sentencing of Palestinian left leader Ahmad Sa’adat: Take action for liberation! (Samidoun, 25 December 2021)
- Video: Steadfastness and Resistance – the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and the case of Ahmad Sa’adat (Samidoun 17 January 2021)
- Free Ahmad Sa’adat, imprisoned leader of the Palestinian liberation movement (Samidoun, 19 April 2020)
- Video: Vancouver event urges freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat, justice for Palestine, with Khaled Barakat (Samidoun, 31 January 2020)
- Ahmad Sa’adat: An exceptional revolutionary leader in challenging times by Khaled Barakat (Samidoun, 20 January 2019)
- Audio: Georges Abdallah calls for action to free Ahmad Sa’adat, confront normalization, in statement from French prison (Samidoun, 14 January 2019)
- Ahmad Sa’adat: Palestine will be freed by the people, not the elites (Samidoun, 11 December 2018)
- 9 Years Later: My Journey to see my Father; 45 Minutes, a Window and a Telephone by Sumoud Sa’adat (Samidoun, 25 August 2015)
- Palestinian Authority Security Cooperation and the Internationalization of Occupation: The Case of Ahmad Sa’adat by Charlotte Kates (Jadaliyya, 27 January 2015)