Khader Adnan speaks: video link-up transcript, part 1
Skype video link with Palestine Place in London on June 3 2012
Transcribed after translation from original Arabic – Names unverified
KA: Salam alaikum to freedom loving people in the UK. I am happy to meet with free people of the world fighting for the rights of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and the right of Palestinians to their lands. The fact that the audience are sitting down to listen makes me respect them more.
In Israeli prisons there are hundreds with serious health conditions. I was released from the prisons of Ramle, referred to as Ramle ‘hospital’. There I met with Palestinian prisoners who are in such a serious health condition that they cannot move. Many have been injured and wounded with bullets of the Israeli army or have been paralysed by interrogation or have severe weakness in their muscles. Paralysed prisoners in the prison who need to use the toilet must be lifted with a machine to which they are tied like goods or cattle – it is inhumane.
I can never forget a prisoner called [Nabeta? – name inaudible] who was in such a critical condition after release that he died within days. Nor Akhram (?) who was in the same unit and is on hunger strike for 40(?) days. His father, first and second brother were killed by the occupation and another brother is in prison and has severe diabetes but despite this has gone on hunger strike seeking freedom. I am worried about painful news coming out any time soon.
In the ‘hospital’ prisoners are black mailed for medicine – the ‘doctors’ are wishing the death of Palestinian prisoners so they can get rid of them… what sort of a security justification can be used to justify treatment like this? They are trying to hurt our dignity and the dignity of all free people of the world by doing this. They arrested and released me in the dark, very late at night because they didn’t want the free people in the world, like you, to see. They only work in the darkness. Tell me what type of media either Arab or Muslim or international can have access to prisons?
If this Palestine Place is well organised and able to get media attention to meetings such as this we will begin to see the pressure. They tell me I’m a terrorist and I tell them I’m free. I’m free and I’m seeking freedom for my town and the people in the town. I am the native and they are the strangers. After the occupation and before the occupation they became killers. They killed us in Jenin, they killed my fellow prisoner Muhammed (?) in interrogation. They paralysed many in interrogation in prisons.
They say I’m dangerous. I was arrested 8 times. These 8 times were due to my activism outside and in university. Almost half of these I was in administrative detention. The other times I was sentenced based on the confessions of other people. The Israeli system allows this.
The reasons behind my hunger strike were: the frequent arrests and treatment received when arrested and the third was the barbaric methods of interrogation in prison – they humiliated me. They put the dust of their shoes on my moustache, they picked hairs out of my beard, they tied my hand behind my back and to the chair which was tied to the floor. They put my picture on the floor and stepped on it. They cursed my wife, and my daughter who was less than a year and four months old with the most offensive words they could use.
In response at the beginning I started a ‘word strike’, wouldn’t speak to them. And then hunger strike. How could I speak and eat with those who were humiliating me? The dignity of Palestine is more important then the food of the world. We will be hungry but we wont kneel down. Look at (Sarsak?) who has been on hunger strike for 81 days. He is today in grave danger. If Mahmoud [Sarsak] was doing what he is doing anywhere else in the world, the whole world would be up in arms to save him. Don’t wait for him to die, do all you can to save his life.
In the past he was a football player and now he is a symbol for freedom in the whole world. I am almost ashamed when I mention him. The British government holds some responsibility towards what happened to me because the occupation uses the excuse that it inherited this law from the British mandate law. This form of sentence without charge exists only in Palestine and Guantanamo Bay. It means that any prisoner’s detention can be renewed for 3 months or 6 months at a time, all the while keeping secret the supposed information.
It’s a pleasure to see you all today and to hear from you. I think that Palestine Place is a pioneering idea.
[Audience chants: “Free free Palestine!”]
Q&A to follow in part 2.