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by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 at 9:08 AM
Samer Easawi: Hunger Striking for Justice
by Stephen Lendman
Samer's a Palestinian activist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine member. On April 15, 2002, Israel kidnapped him in Ramallah. It did so during multiple community incursions.
Samer was wrongly charged with allegedly planning attacks on Israel. When evidence doesn't exist, Israel invents it.
He was sentenced to 30 years for supporting right over wrong. He's one of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners. They symbolize longstanding Israeli ruthlessness.
It's official policy. Media scoundrels suppress it. They shame themselves in the process.
In October 2011, Samer was one of hundreds of Palestinians released in exchange for Gilat Shalit. On July 7, 2012, he was rearrested. He was abducted near Hizma village. It's part of Jerusalem's municipality.
Israel claimed he violated release agreement terms. Allegedly he did so by leaving Jerusalem. He's lawlessly detained uncharged. Israeli military law permits convoluted justice.
It permits detaining Palestinians on false charges. It permits secret evidence unavailable to counsel. It permits rearresting released prisoners for any reason or none at all.
It permits incarcerating them until their sentences are completed. It permits doing so on the slightest pretext. It permits piling on more unjustiable charges.
It permits any damn thing Israel wishes. Palestinians haven't a leg to stand on. Rogue states operate that way.
At least 14 other prisoners exchanged for Shalit were rearrested. Israel falsely claims they planned terrorist activities. Israel calls wanting to live free, championing civil and human rights, as well as self-defense terrorism.
Five of those rearrested were sentenced to between 24 and 38 years. They'll rot in Israel's gulag unless released.
Samer and four others are hunger striking longterm for justice. Israel doesn't care if they live or die.
Administrative detentions are imposed lawlessly. Those held may be imprisoned indefinitely without charge. They're denied due process. They're not told why they're held.
They're guilty by accusation. They can't dispute charges. They can't cross-examine witnesses. They can't present exculpating evidence to prove innocence.
Military orders authorize occupation harshness. On May 1, 2010, Military Order 1651 codified them into what's called Israel's Criminal Code. It consolidated past versions relating to arrests, prosecutions, and detentions.
It applies to children like adults. Israel makes no distinction. Children young as 10, and at times younger, are abusively affected.
Military Order 1651 Article 285 permits military commanders to detain Palestinians up to six months. Indefinite renewals are routinely issued for alleged security reasons.
Military Order 1651 Article 186 permits doing so. It lets commanders sentence released prisoners to complete their original terms.
Dozens of Palestinians have been affected. No one's safe from Israel's long arm. Pre-dawn arrests occur often. Innocence is no defense.
Charges are entirely spurious. Justifiable evidence doesn't exist. Uncharged detainees can be held forever if Israel wishes. Those released face constant rearrest threats.
Practically all Palestinians have loved ones and/or friends wrongfully treated. Prolonged arbitrary detention breaches international law.
Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:
1. "Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are established by law.
2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.
4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful."
Although exceptions are permitted "in time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation," Israel does it abusively. Doing so also violates Fourth Geneva's Article 78, stating:
"If the Occupying Power considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security, to take measures concerning protected persons, it may, at the most, subject them to assigned residence or to internment."
"Decisions regarding such assigned residence or internment shall be made according to a regular procedure to be prescribed by the Occupying Power in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention. This procedure shall include the right of appeal (decided on) with the least possible delay. (If it's upheld), it shall be subject to periodical review...."
Administrative detention should never substitute for customary criminal proceedings. It's only permitted to prevent future lawless acts.
It's unjustifiable without evidence. International law prohibits transfering protected persons to the occupying power's territory.
Israel spurns rule of law principles. It does so with impunity. It gets away with gross human rights abuses. It freely commits murder. Palestinians bear the brunt of its lawlessness. Many hunger strike for justice in response.
Samer's been doing so for over 200 days. Ayman Sharawna intermittently stopped eating since August 1, 2012. In October 2011, he was released. In January 2012, he was rearrested.
Yousef Abdel Rahman Eshteiwi was mistreated the same way. Israel justified his rearrest and imprisonment. It did so based on secret evidence. His lawyer can't defend him. He's unaware of what it is. He can't contest.
Numerous other Palestinians are denied justice the same way. Israel wants them in gulag hell longterm.
On February 18, the International Middle East Media Center headlined "209 days on Hunger Strike; Letter from Palestinian Prisoner Samer al-Eesawi." It was written two days earlier. He's willing to die for justice. He said:
"There is no going back because I'm the owner of Right."
"I turn with admiration to the masses of our heroic Palestinian people, to our Palestinian leadership, to all forces, parties and national institutions. I salute them for standing by our fight to defend our right to freedom and dignity."
"I draw my strength from my people, from all the free people in the world, from friends and the families of the prisoners who continue day and night chanting for freedom and an end to the occupation."
"My health has deteriorated dramatically and I’m hung between life and death. My weak body is collapsing but still able to be patient and continue the confrontation."
"My message is that I will continue until the end, until the last drop of water in my body, until martyrdom. Martyrdom is an honor for me in this battle."
"My martyrdom is my remaining bomb in the confrontation with the tyrants and the jailers, in the face of the racist policy of the occupation that humiliates our people and exercises against us all means of oppression and repression."
"I say to my people: I’m stronger than the occupation army and its racist laws."
"I, Samer al-Eesawi, son of Jerusalem, send you my last will that, in case I fell as a martyr, you will carry my soul as a cry for all the prisoners, man and women, cry for freedom, emancipation and salvation from the nightmare of prisons and their harsh darkness."
"My battle is not only for individual freedom. The battle waged by me and by my heroic colleagues, Tariq (Qa'adan), Ayman (Sharawneh) and Ja'affar (Ezzedine), is everyone’s battle, the battle of the Palestinian people against the occupation and its prisons."
"Our goal is to be free and sovereign in our liberated state and in our blessed Jerusalem."
"The weak and strained beats of my heart derive their steadfastness from you, the great people."
"My eyes, which started to lose their sight, draws light from your solidarity and your support of me."
"My weak voice takes its strength from your voice that is louder than the warden’s voice and higher than the walls."
"I’m one of your sons, among thousands of your sons who are prisoners, still languishing and steadfast in the prisons, waiting for an end to be brought to their plight, their pains and the suffering of their families."
"The doctors told me I became exposed to stroke because of the disorder of my heartbeats, the shortage of sugar and the drop in blood pressure."
"My body is full of cold and I can’t sleep because of the continued pain."
"But despite the extreme fatigue and chronic headaches, as I move on my chair, I’m trying to summon all my resources to continue on the road till its end."
"There is no going back, only in my victory, because I’m the owner of Right and my detention is invalid and illegal."
"Do not be afraid for my heart if it will stop, don’t be afraid for my hands if they will be paralyzed."
"I am still alive now and tomorrow and after death, because Jerusalem is moving in my blood, in my devotion and my faith."
On February 19, Samer appeared in Jerusalem civil court. He was gaunt and wheelchair-bound. His lawyer petitioned for his release on bail. He needs emergency medical treatment.
Israeli judicial unfairness rejected him twice before. It did so again. His mother collapsed after the ruling. It condemned him to death.
Dozens gathered outside court supportively. They hoped international attention would help.
Hundreds rallied outside Ofer Prison. Samer's held there. Soldiers attacked them with tear gas and rubber bullets. At least 18 were injured.
Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners hunger struck supportively. They won't eat for 24 or more hours.
In recent days, thousands of Palestinians rallied across the West Bank and Gaza. They demand all uncharged prisoners be released.
Last May, over 2,000 Palestinian prisoners ended mass hunger strikes. They protested unjustifiable indefinite detentions uncharged.
They attracted world attention. Human rights activists supported them. They support current hunger strikers. They're heroic. Some perhaps head for martyrdom. They're doing so for a just cause.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity." http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour
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by Who is Samer Issawi ?
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 at 7:43 PM
Who is Samer Issawi and why had he been imprisoned?
According to the Israel Prison Service, Samer Issawi of Issawiyeh, Jerusalem was arrested in April 2002 and sentenced to 26 years for attempted murder, belonging to an unrecognized (terror) organization, military training, and possession of weapons, arms and explosive materials. Issawi (identification number 037274735) was one of the 477 Palestinian prisoners released in the first stage of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in October 2011. (The Prison Service lists him as Samir Tariq Ahmad Muhammad. Multiple names are not uncommon among Palestinians. The date of his arrest, birth, his sentence term and the terms of his release are consistent with the details provided about Samer Issawi in media reports.)
In an October 2011 letter to the editor of the Guardian, Amir Ofek of the Israeli embassy in London took that paper to task for failing to provide information about Issawi's terror activities. He detailed:
Your centrefold (19 October) carries a double-spread photograph of released prisoner Samer Tareq al-Issawi in a cheering crowd, after being freed under the terms of the deal to release Gilad Shalit. It is important to point out the grave terrorism offences of which Al-Issawi was convicted, including firing a gun at a civilian vehicle in October 2001, indiscriminately firing an AK47 assault rifle at civilian buses, and manufacturing and distributing pipe bombs used in attacks on Israeli civilians....
As part of the Shalit deal, a condition of Issawi's release was that he had to remain in Jerusalem. In July 2012 he reportedly violated the terms of his release by leaving Jerusalem and crossing into the nearby neighborhood of A-Ram, and was therefore rearrested.
Other media outlets have also failed to report Issawi's violent activities. AFP, which has reported extensively over the last few days about Issawi's hunger strike, is rather vague about Issawi's violent crimes:
Issawi, 33, and Sharawna, 36, were long-term security prisoners who were initially released by Israel under a prisoner swap deal in October 2011.
But within months, they were both rearrested following unspecified allegations that they violated the terms of the agreement, with Israel ordering them to serve out the remainder of their original sentences.
Sharawna was rearrested on January 31 and began refusing food on July 1 to protest against his re-arrest and demand his immediate release.
Issawi was arrested on July 7 and stopped eating on August 1, to protest over his re-arrest and retrial based on information which was not made available to him or his lawyer. (Emphasis added.)
Likewise, AP does not specify why Issawi was imprisoned in the first place, although it does does a slightly better job than AFP. AP reports:
Issawi's original sentence was 26 years "for a terrorist act" but he had served only six years, [Israel Prison spokeswoman Sivan] Weizman said. [sic: He served nine years, from April 2002 until October 2011.]
The four were re-arrested and sent to prison for violating the terms of their release, Weizman said. She said Issawi was banned from entering the West Bank but entered three times after he was freed.
It's unfortunate that the prison spokeswoman failed to specify Issawi's terrorist acts (and that she also misstated the length of the term that he served), but AP could have easily consulted the list of released prisoners and their crimes for more detailed information, as CAMERA had done. (Indeed, after AP's earlier, October 2011, whitewashing of the crimes of another Palestinian prisoner released as part of the Shalit deal, CAMERA had been in touch with AP editors. After pointing out the Prison Service document, AP commendably corrected.)
How Long a Hunger Strike?
Ha'aretz's photo caption yesterday reported as fact that Issawi "has been on hunger strike for 209 days," while the AP reported that Issawi "has been on an on-again, off-again hunger strike for several months" (emphasis added). According to the Feb. 15 article by Ian Deitch, there are conflicting claims about the extent of Issawi's hunger strike. He reported:
Issawi is under medical supervision and eats periodically, [Prison spokesman Sivan Weizman] said.
Issawi's sister, Shirin, said he has been on hunger strike for 206 days. She said he has only been drinking water since January. She said the prisontakes her brother to an Israeli hospital for treatment.
The Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs, Issa Qaraqe, said Issawi began his fast in August and has been observing it intermittently.
In other words, the Israeli prison spokeswoman and the Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs agree that Issawi has been eating periodically, yet Ha'aretz reports as fact that he "has been on strike for 209 days." Even a partial hunger strike is most certainly a difficult ordeal. But why is it so difficult for Ha'aretz to stick with the facts? How long will the paper continue to supply its English readers with a steady stream of agenda-driven, whitewashed propaganda?
Read the entire article at CAMERA
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by Not a nice guy
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Capt. Eytan Buchman, an IDF spokesman, has provided CAMERA with additional details about Issawi's terror activities. He writes that Issawi
was convicted of severe crimes, which including five attempts of intentional death. This included four shootings, between July 2001 and February 2002, in which Isawi and his partners fired on police cars and buses travelling between Ma'ale Adumim and Jerusalem. In one attack, a policeman was injured and required surgery. On October 30, 2001, Isawi, together with an accomplice, fired at two students walking from the Hebrew University campus to their car in a nearby parking lot. In another case, Isawi provided guns and explosive devices to a squad, who fired on a bus. Finally, in December 2001, Isawi ordered an attack on security personnel at Hebrew University, providing a squad with a pistol and a pipebomb. Two of the squad members tracked security personnel but opted not to execute the attack.
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by criminals, all
Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 at 4:44 PM
For those of us closely following current events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we might have read about the Palestinian hunger strikers and the Palestinian protests and riots in support of them.
This deceptive method of passive resistance should not fool any of us as to the true identity of these hunger strikers. While their method is reminiscent of the great Mahatma Ghandi, I assure you, they have nothing in common with with peaceful activist who made this method of protest famous. Here is their brief dossiers, courtesy of the Israel Security Agency (SHABAK/Shin Bet).
There are four prisoners who are currently on hunger strike - two of whom belong to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Jihad_Movement_in_Palestine) terror network in the Jenin area is considered to be among the most dangerour terror networks in the West Bank and has been responsible for dozens of terror attacks and many more attempts that have been thwart through effective counter-terrorism. In recent months, the PIJ has been attempting to reorganize its network in the Jenin area. As a reminder, in January, thirteen members of a PIJ terror cell in the Jenin area were arrested befo carrying out a kidnapping of an Israeli civilian or soldier. The cell was found near the Eyal Crossing, just outside the Tel Aviv greater metropolitan area. Inside the car, they had ropes, duct tape, ski-masks, knives, and a fake gun.
Jaffar Ibrahim Mohammed Az Aladin
A Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative from the Jenin area, who was detained during the week of the Gaza operation, Pillar of Defense. He was arrested for his involvement in reestablishing a PIJ terror network in the Jenin area, and has been jailed several times in the past for his involvement in terror activity. His brother, Tarik Az Aladin, is a senior figure in the PIJ and is currently deported to the Gaza Strip as part of the Gilad Shalit exchange. From the Gaza Strip, Tarik Az Aladin has been involved with directing PIJ operatives in the West Bank.
Tarik Hussin Awad Daar Hussein
Arrested for his involvement of reestablishing the PIJ network in the Jenin area.
The other two prisoners on hunger strike are terror operatives who have been released as part of the Gilad Shalit exchange and have been recently rearrested for returning to terror activity, therefore violating the terms of their release:
Samar Tarek Ahmed Issawi
A member of the Democratic Front of the Liberation of Palestine terror organization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Front_for_the_Liberation_of_Palestine) in the Issawiya-Jerusalem area and belongs to a family known to be heavily involved with the terror network. Two of his brothers have been arrested on multiple occasions for their involvement in terror activity, and his sister has been convicted of assisting with smuggling funds for the DFLP. He is currently serving the remainder of his 26 year sentence (starting in 2002), for involvement in the DFLP, several counts of attempted murder, trafficking and possession of weaponry, and for conducting training for terror operatives. Issawi was rearrested on July 7, 2012 for violating the terms of his release by returning to activity in the West Bank.
Iman Ismail Salame Sarawna
A Hamas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas) terror organization operative from the Hebron area. Originally arrested in 2002 and sentenced to 38 years for planting an explosive device that injured 18 civilians, attempted kidnapping of a soldier, and involvement in a shooting incident on soldiers. Immediately upon his release in the Gilad Shalit exchange, Sawarana returned to his involvement with Hamas and was rearrested on January 30, 2012.
Ironic that this masquerading of terrorists as peaceful protestors is so close to the Jewish holiday of Purim, known for its tradition of masquerades.
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by so just!
Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 at 5:55 PM
We can see the outrage of israeli moral justice when the murderers of a relief ship trying to breach the blockade of Gaza were targeted for assassination by IDF commandos and none were held accountable.
Now the mega phonies are squealing about a hunger strike.
What incredible assholes.
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by Forgetting something?
Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 at 7:54 PM
The " relief" ship was filled with Turkish jihadis who filmed their martyrdom videos beforehand. They were armed, and were carrying no aid. It wasn't that long ago. Hard to imagine you've forgotten already
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by who could forget?
Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 at 6:24 AM
there were no weapons ever found and the only threat to that miserable rat state of israel ever found on the ship, was the prospect of hope to the people of Gaza.
" jihadis" meaning people who are resisting imprisonment, genocide [ as defined by the Geneva Convention ] and despair from the brutal decades long occupation.
What incredible assholes..
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by never forget
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 at 11:36 AM
One of the assassinated relief workers was an American citizen. Our 'friend' in the middle east. Yet not a peep from our bribed and blackmailed government 'servants to sanction these killers and cowards.
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