My husband, Khadar Adnan, has shed a light on Israel´s disregard for human rights (GUARDIAN UK COMMENT) Randa Musa 02/23/12)
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Through his own suffering, Khadar has helped expose the plight of
Palestinians held under ´administrative detention´ by Israel
The name of my husband, Khadar Adnan, has now become known across the
world. Four months ago he was unknown outside our homeland,
Palestine. His hunger strike of 66 days has transformed him into a
global figure and a shining symbol of my people´s struggle.
Our life was turned upside down on 17 December 2011 when Israeli
troops raided our home in Araba village, south of Jenin, in the
occupied West Bank. It was about 3am when they broke down the doors
and stormed into our house. The havoc they wreaked will always remain
etched on the minds of our two daughters, Ma´ali, aged four, and
Baysan, one-and-a-half years old. I would not be surprised if even
our unborn baby will also be affected. Such was the trauma that
accompanied the Israeli raid.
Khadar has been an student activist for many years. He is no shadowy
figure but an outspoken local leader against the Israeli occupation.
He is well known to both the Israeli occupation authorities and the
Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Both have detained him for various
periods without charge.
This constant harassment has stood between Khadar and the completion
of his master´s degree in economics. Yet, we remain a normal couple,
yearning for the much-needed stability and freedom to raise our
children; to give them the happiness that is the entitlement of every
child. With my own university degree, I have no doubt that as
parents, we are well equipped to realise our ambitions. But life
under Israel´s military occupation has turned our dream into a
Not for the first time, Khadar has used hunger strike, his powerful
form of peaceful protest, to great effect. When the Palestinian
Authority forces detained him in 2010 he went on a hunger strike for
12 consecutive days, forcing the Ramallah authority to release him.
Likewise, he staged several hunger strikes in the occupation´s
detention camps. The last of these was carried out in 2005, which
lasted nine days in solitary confinement.
What drives my husband to pursue this dangerous and difficult form of
resistance? I have no doubt it is the unjust nature
of "administrative detention" and its notorious methods of torture
and humiliation. From the moment he was bundled into their military
vehicle in December, insults and veiled threats were thrown at him.
They even tried to unhinge him psychologically by claiming I was
unfaithful, a vicious calumny he dismissed with scorn.
I know my husband well; I love him, and will always remain faithful
to him. He knows this and this is why he spurned the cheap talk of
Khadar was never motivated by personal hurt or inconvenience. He,
like thousands of other young Palestinians, is determined to see an
end to the occupation. He is driven by a higher logic: to expose to
the world the plight of imprisoned Palestinians. Since 1967, more
than 650,000 Palestinians have passed through Israeli jails – many of
them in administrative detention – an average of one in four in the
Administrative detention is a nebulous and vindictive measure used by
the occupation against our young men and women. It is one of the
cruel legacies of the old British mandate in Palestine. Today, in the
absence of any deterrent or condemnation from the international
community, Israel uses it with increasing frequency against
university students and lecturers, young professionals and even
elected parliamentarians. Some 300 are being held. It is part of an
immoral policy used to keep Palestinians in a state of perpetual
poverty and underdevelopment.
When a military commander issues an order for administrative
detention, no evidence is produced. No charges are brought against
the victims, and the occupation has no obligation to give reasons for
the detention. This is by no means a legal mechanism. It is simply an
arbitrary draconian measure used to inflict psychological and
physical harm on its victims. When they are fortunate enough to be
brought before a judge, he can detain them for periods of six months
that can be extended indefinitely. The prisoners problem is so
prevalent today that Palestinians have had to create a special
ministry for prisoners´ affairs.
I know my husband is not selfish. This is why I supported him every
step of the way. As with any devoted wife, I am duty bound to help
him bear the burden of our oppressed people. Our relatives and
extended family have supported us with equal fortitude. Indeed, I
would not be telling a lie if I say that all Palestinians across the
whole political spectrum and millions of freedom-loving people in the
world have also stood with us.The occupation has decided, under
pressure, to free my husband in April, but hundreds more will
continue to languish in putrid cells under the same illegal, inhuman
scheme. Khadar has, however, delivered his message: that this long
night of tyranny and inhumanity will come to an end.
We are well aware that the Israelis may try to renege on this week´s
agreement – as they have done with the recent prisoner exchange deal –
by re-arresting the freed prisoners. But for every occasion there
will be a response, and I have no doubt my husband would not hesitate
to resume his stoic struggle with even more strength and
For me, the most difficult part of this ordeal has been the knowledge
that at any time I could receive a phone call announcing that my
husband is dead. But this is the price for our freedom. It is the
indispensable sacrifice needed so that our children might enjoy a
life of freedom and dignity.
To the free world, the millions who heard of Khadar and supported him
by calling for his release, I extend our heartfelt thanks and
appreciation. (guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012
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