Farage vs. Corbyn – Richie Allen and Gilad Atzmon delve into the post-political condition

May 24, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

Richie is joined by the musician, author and political commentator Gilad Atzmon. In a provocative and insightful article on gilad.co.uk this week, Gilad writes; “How it is that once again a right wing populist has won the minds and hearts of working people? How is it possible that Jeremy Corbyn, who was perceived by many of us as the greatest hope in Western politics, has managed, in less than three years, to make himself an irrelevant passing phase? How is it possible that the Right consistently wins when the conditions exist for a textbook socialist revolution? Nigel Farage, Britain’s Donald Trump character, is by far the most significant man in British politics. Farage stood up against the entire political establishment, including the media and the commercial elites and has promised to change British politics once and for all. So far, it seems he is winning on all fronts.” This is a must-listen interview.

Support The Richie Allen Show by donating at www.richieallen.co.uk Richie has been producing and presenting television and radio programs for the best part of twenty years. The Richie Allen Show airs Monday – Thursday at 5 PM GMT and at 11 AM UK Time each Sunday.


My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

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مَن هو القاتلُ الحقيقي في السعودية؟

أبريل 25, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

هذه دولةٌ قامت على الفتك بالمدنيين منذ تأسيسها في مطلع القرن الماضي بتغطية عسكرية مباشرة من البريطانيين الذين كانوا يحتلون شبه جزيرة العرب.

لقد توافرت لآل سعود بعد انتصارهم فرصة إنتاج مشروع دولة لديها وسائل إقناع اقتصادية النفط مع اسلام معتدل يرعى الحرمين الشريفين ومواسم الحج والعمرة المتواصلة.

لكنها آثرت التمسك بمنطلقات تأسيسها مجرد مجموعة قبلية مرتبطة بالمخابرات البريطانية فتكت بعشرات آلاف العرب من أبناء القبائل الأخرى من السنة والشيعة ومن دون تمييز، فكلّ من شعر آل سعود بخطره على مشروعهم أبادوه.

اسألوا القبائل من شمر وعنترة وطي وتميم وكلاب وغيرها، كيف هرب معظمها الى البلدان المجاورة هرباً من القتل السعودي البريطاني؟

لكن تحوّلهم دولة لم يؤدّ كما يُفترض الى تغيير في الممارسات.

التغيير الوحيد الذي حدث هو على مستوى تغطيتهم الدولية التي أصبحت أميركية منذ 1945، تنشر حماياتها السياسية والعسكرية على كامل جزيرة العرب، وخصوصاً مملكة آل سعود الأغنى نفطياً والأكثر تخلفاً من غيرها.

لذلك بنى آل سعود دولة منحوها اسم قبيلتهم مُقطعين مؤسّساتها السياسية الأساسية والوظائف الدبلوماسية والاقتصادية والإدارية الى أفراد عائلتهم أو من عائلات حليفة لهم، خصوصاً آل الشيخ أحفاد محمد بن عبد الوهاب مؤسّس المذهب الوهابي.

للإيضاح فقط فإنّ آل سعود على مستوى تأسيس مملكتهم هم نتاج تمازج الدور البريطاني الاستعماري وعشيرة آل سعود مع الحركة الوهابية المتطرفة التي بايعت آل سعود بشكل مطلق في السياسة وقيادة الدولة والاقتصاد.

منذ ذلك التاريخ أنتج السعوديون دولة ديكتاتورية تقوم على مفهوم «السمع والطاعة» مخترعين مجتمعاً غير قابل للتحرك بثلاث وسائل: القراءة الوهابية الداعية باسم الإسلام للانصياع لولي الأمر والقمع بالقتل وبتسميات ترقى الى العصور الأولى للإسلام التعزير والحرابة لكلّ من يطالب بحقوق الإنسان وإلغاء التمييز العنصري او ينتقد التسلط الديكتاتوري للدولة، أما الوسيلة الثالثة فهي الوفر الاقتصادي الهائل الناتج من ثروات نفطية خيالية، الذي يسمح حتى الآن بتوفير الحدّ الوسطي من المتطلبات الاقتصادية.

ولأنّ هذه العناصر غير كافية غطى الأميركيون هذه المعادلة السعودية مؤمّنين لها حماية من الخارج الإقليمي والدولي، وقواعد عسكرية في المنطقة لإجهاض أيّ تحرك داخلي.

فتحوّلت السعودية إلى «كهف مُكتفٍ» تسير أموره على نحو رتيب بتسليم قدري من المجتمع الداخلي الذي أصبح مُلِمّاً بعجزه عن إحداث أيّ تغيير لأنه قابل للإجهاض من قبل الأميركيين والجيش السعودي ذي الأصول الباكستانية والسودانية مع طبقة من قياديين من بريطانيا والولايات المتحدة.

هذا ما سمح لآل سعود باعتقال المجتمع، فمنعوه من التطوّر العلمي والصناعي جاعلين منه مثالاً على المجتمعات القرون أوسطية، فكرياً، فاستدام هذا الوضع على هذه القاعدة ولم يشُذ عنها، إلا بانتفاضة جهيمان العتيبي في السبعينيات الذي كان يحمل مشروع الوهابية القديمة التي ترفض ايّ اتصال بالأجنبي وتريد منع الأميركيين والغربيين ومجمل الأجانب من الإقامة في «الأرض الحرام»، كما كانوا يقولون.

واستلزم القضاء على هؤلاء مشاركة قوات أردنية وفرنسية وأميركية.

إلا أنّ نجاح الثورة في إيران في 1979 أصاب آل سعود بجنون الخوف على مملكتهم فخرجوا عن باطنيتهم مشاركين إلى جانب الاميركيين بمحاولة القضاء على ثورة الخميني مموّلين كلّ الحروب والحصار والمقاطعات التي تتعرّض لها حتى الآن.

بالتوازي واصلوا اعتقال المجتمع ممارسين قتلاً منهجياً بين المواطنين السنة والشيعة على السواء وسط تجاهل دولي لمجازرهم حتى أنّ أحداً لم يستنكر مذابحهم.

ومع تطوّر الصراع الأميركي الإيراني استعمل الحلف الأميركي السعودي الإسرائيلي أسلوب تأجيج الفتنة السنية الشيعية للمزيد من التضييق على الحركة الإيرانية في الإقليم مثيرين مناخاً مذهبياً على حساب تراجع الصراع مع «إسرائيل» ما منح السعوديين فرصة كافية لقمع دموي دائم ومتواصل استهدف المدنيين الشيعة في القطيف، ومن يعترض من السنة.

الملاحظة الأولى انّ الغطاء الاميركي الشامل حمى آل سعود من ايّ نقد دولي مع تلميع إعلامي بدا حريصاً على تقديمهم نموذجاً للدولة الإسلامية المروّجة للقيم الإنسانية وهي لا تعتقل إلا الإرهابيين المسيئين لتعاليم الدين او المجرمين.

الأميركيون سياسياً وإعلامياً ومعهم الأوروبيون غطوا هذا التلميع بشكل صارم وسط صمت صيني وروسي. ما عطل هذا المفهوم هي تلك الخلافات التي عصفت بالعلاقات بين الرئيس الاميركي الحالي ترامب والحزب الديمقراطي الأميركي المنافس له وبعض قوى أوروبا وتركيا، هؤلاء كمنوا لترامب عند حادثة اغتيال الإعلامي الخاشقجي من قبل مجموعة أمنية تابعة لولي العهد محمد بن سلمان، فشنّوا هجوماً مسعوراً على السعودية بهدف التصويب على ترامب وسياساته، أدّى هذا الوضع الى ولادة حذر سعودي في اقتراف مجازر داخلية لشعورهم بتراجع التغطية الأميركية.

وأخيراً عادت الحاجة الأميركية الماسّة إليهم في مسألة تعويض النقص المحتمل من النفط الإيراني بسبب الحصار الأميركي، فطرحت السعودية نفسها البديل المستعدّ للتعويض، وقامت فوراً بإعدام 37 سعودياً بينهم أربعة من داعش و33 مدنياً من الشيعة لم يفعلوا سوى المطالبة بالحقوق المدنية. ألا تدفع هذه الأمور الى السؤال عن هوية القاتل الفعلي لهؤلاء؟ السعودية هي اليد التي نفذت الإعدام، لكن صاحب الأمر هو الراعي الأميركي الذي يواصل ارتكاب المجازر في العالم والشرق الأوسط منذ 1945 مباشرة أو بواسطة أعوانه السعوديين و»الإسرائيليين».

US Journalist to Al-Ahed: Saudi, “Israel” So Much Alike…Trump Continues to Protect Saudis’ Tyrannical Rule

Al-Ahed Correspondent

Here is the perfect resemblance of the English proverb “Money Talks”: It means a kingdom that continues to slaughter Yemen’s children and turns its women and students into burned corpses, a monarchy whose rulers silenced a journo by turning him into pieces. Recently, it also means executing 27 Saudi citizen in a gruesome bloodbath for just opposing the rule of “their majesties” without being punished.

Washington – The American journalist, Janice Kortkamp, dismissed Saudi Arabia’s April 23 executions of 37 people convicted on “terrorism” charges recalling that Amnesty International slammed the Saudi regime’s escalation in the use of the death penalty.

However, she clarified: “I must add though that Amnesty International has no credibility with me personally as I’ve seen how they have fabricated reports during the war against Syria and proven themselves in that conflict to be completely biased in favor of western backed armed groups.”

“They seek to be considered a valid, neutral watchdog of human rights abuses by reporting on and condemning things like this, however just like western based mainstream media, they are now tainted and their true character exposed.”

In an exclusive interview with Al-Ahed news, Kortkamp said she has “no doubt those prisoners were tortured and suffered beyond anything I can imagine” before being executed.

Kortkamp further said: “According to Saudi authorities, ‘terrorism’ seems to consist of any and all political or religious dissent”.

In parallel, she lamented the fact that both the Saudi kingdom and “Israel” use this [terrorism] pretext.

“The “Israelis” try to legitimize their daily atrocities against Palestinians, by even calling babies ‘terrorists’.”

“With the Saudis openly supporting and declaring an alliance with “Israel”, it is very likely in my opinion that we will see greater persecution of the Shia minority and quite possibly actions to ‘religiously cleanse’ KSA as the Zionists have been ethnically cleansing Palestine,” said Kortkamp.

“MBS seems to be continuing and increasing the tradition of the Saud clan’s consistent punishment against any form of opposition to their tyrannical rule”.

Moreover, the US journalist further remarked that “the lack of freedoms for religious minorities, women, and political dissenters” are the most important violations of human rights in Saudi Arabia.

Stressing that she does not know if the US was notified by the KSA government in advance of the executions, Kortkamp said: “I am sure they knew about it…[US President Donald] Trump, as former US presidents and other western leaders have, continues to protect, defend, assist – and often control – the Saud “royal” absolute dictators.”

In addition, she downplayed Trump’s alleged concerns of human rights violations and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi: “Trump didn’t care about Khashoggi and he has proven he has no concern about Yemen by vetoing the bipartisan bill finally passed through Congress to end our involvement.”

“The only hope I see for America is that enough people get angry over these policies and demand change,” she added.

Read the Q&A form of the interview here

US Politicians, Journos, Activists Condemn Saudi Arabia’s Mass Beheadings

By Staff, Agencies

Human rights groups have hit out at the most recent brutal wave of punishment, revealed by the Saudis on Wednesday, in which 37 people killed.

Critics say the majority of those executed were convicted after sham trials that violated international standards and relied on confessions extracted through torture.

They also say the grisly and public punishments are being used as tools to crush pro-democracy campaigners, human rights activists, intellectuals and the Shia minority — to which at least 33 of those executed belonged to.

The mass execution was also denounced by a number of American politicians and journalists. Below are a few statements that went viral on social media:

Senator Dianne Feinstein: an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from California.

I’m deeply troubled by the Saudi government’s mass execution of 37 prisoners, including 33 members of the kingdom’s Shiite minority. Human Rights Watch has reported that many of the confessions in two mass trials were obtained using torture and the prisoners later recanted.

I’ve called for the US to reconsider our relationship with Saudi Arabia and spoken out against the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom’s oppression of women’s rights activists and the numerous human rights violations committed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

These latest reports reinforce my concerns. We can’t look way from Saudi Arabia’s increased use of executions, particularly when so many questions surround the validity of the trials.

 

Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard: US Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district.

Trump/Pence continue to try to hide the truth from their Christian supporters–the terrorist attacks on Christians/Christian churches in Sri Lanka and elsewhere are inspired by the extremist Saudi ideology that Saudi Arabia spends billions propagating worldwide

The tweet also had a video pointing that the Saudis have been spending billions of dollars spreading an “intolerant form of Islam,” which she said inspires terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”], and Boko Haram.

“It’s an ideology that preaches hatred and bias toward Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and atheists, and Muslims who are not followers of that extremist ideology,” Gabbard said. “Yet President Trump and Pence, who pose as defenders of Christians and Christianity, have embraced the Saudis, the purveyors of this anti-Christian jihad.”

Gabbard concluded her video by saying people who believe “in the freedom of religion must demand that President Trump and Vice President Pence give up their unholy alliance with Saudi Arabia.”

 

Ilhan Omar: US Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district.

This is appalling. We have to stop selling the Saudis weapons and supporting this brutality.

 

Rashida Tlaib: US Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district.

Saudi Arabia’s ruler MBS tortures & executes children. Already this year, he has killed 100 people. At least 3 today were arrested as teenagers & tortured into false confessions. He killed them for attending protests! Think about that.

 

Bernie Sanders: US politician and junior United States Senator from Vermont

Yesterday’s mass execution underscores how urgent it has become for the United States to redefine our relationship with the despotic regime in Saudi Arabia, and to show that the Saudis do not have a blank check to continue violating human rights and dictating our foreign policy.

 

Nicholas Kristof: American journalist and political commentator, New York Times Op-Ed Columnist.

Student slated to attend Western Michigan University beheaded in Saudi Arabia, after attending a pro-democracy protest. Remind me, @realDonaldTrump, why are we best buddies with Saudi Arabia?

 

Niraj Warikoo: an American journalist and the religion reporter for the Detroit Free Press.

Mujtaba al-Sweikat, a student slated to attend Western Michigan University, is beheaded in Saudi Arabia. He had been arrested when he was 17 by Saudis in 2012 after taking part in democracy rallies, and tortured while in custody.

 

Seth Abramson: an American professor, poet, attorney, and author.

Now MBS has beheaded a freshman acceptee to Western Michigan University.

 

Kenneth Roth: an American attorney who has been the executive director of Human Rights Watch since 1993.

Among the 37 men just executed by the Saudi government was Mujtaba al-Sweikat who at age 17 was detained at the airport on his way to attend Western Michigan University. His supposed offense was attending a pro-democracy rally during the Arab Spring.

 

Randi Weingarten: an American labor leader, attorney, and educator.

“.@AFTunion joins the international human rights community in condemning the government of #SaudiArabia for forced confessions, torture, beatings and now execution of young student protestor Mujtaba al-Sweikat. @Reprieve @amnesty @AFTIntlAffairs”

 

Lena Sun: the national reporter for The Washington Post.

One of the people executed on Tuesday was arrested at an airport in Saudi Arabia in 2012 as he was preparing to leave the country for a college visit to Western Michigan University, a human rights group said. He was 17 at the time.

 

Steven Metz: an American author and Senior Research Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute

America needs to limit ties with that dark and backward despotism.

 

Jesse Singal: a Brooklyn-based journalist

This is an utterly horrific regime and in a world that made more sense no US president of any party would feel comfortable getting filmed gladhanding with its tyrants. Student slated to attend Western Michigan University beheaded in Saudi Arabia.

Related

International law under threat

Source

John Bolton

By Lawrence Davidson

Several recent events suggest that global warming is not the only thing threatening our future. As if they are running on parallel tracks, some of the modern institutions that help make for stable societies – the ones that hold back the rise of barbarism – are being weakened even as the atmosphere is heating up and the oceans swell. In pursuit of short-term state or personal interests, some national leaders are violating or ignoring international law and, by doing so, putting us all at long-term risk.

Example 1: Subverting the International Criminal Court

One of the most hopeful developments to follow the catastrophe that was World War II—the war that brought the world the holocaust, the blitzkrieg, the carpet bombing of Europe, and the use of nuclear bombs against large cities – was the extension and strengthening of international law. In 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations, seeking to give such laws real force, called for the establishment of an international criminal court. That call triggered resistance because such a court would necessarily impinge on nation-state sovereignty. It took 54 years before the court was finally convened in order to enforce laws against the committing of war crimes and other evils, such as genocide.

Still, there are some nations that refuse to recognise the court’s jurisdiction. Often these are the states most addicted to the barbaric behaviour that came close to destroying a good part of the globe during the 20th century. These governments now threaten the very workability of the court. Thus, on 28 January 2019 it was reported that “a senior judge has resigned from one of the international courts in The Hague” due to interference and threats coming from both the US and Turkey. The judge’s name is Christoph Flügge.

In the case of the United States, the problem began when the International Criminal Court at the Hague decided to investigate allegations of war crimes, specifically the use of torture, committed by US forces in Afghanistan. At that point President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton (who reminds one of a modern Savonarola when it comes to ideological enforcement), publicly threatened the court’s judges. “If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the US or investigate an American citizen,” he said, “the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States  and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted.”

It must be said that (a) torturing Afghanis is not a “domestic concern of the US”, and, all too obviously, (b) Bolton is a deplorable one-dimensional thinker. Bound tightly by a life-long right-wing perspective, he has never been able to get past the concept of nation-state supremacy. This means his perspective is untouched by those lessons of history which have shown the nation-state to be a threat to civilisation itself. Thus, when in 2005, President George W. Bush appointed John Bolton ambassador to the United Nations, it was with the prior knowledge that the man felt nothing but contempt for this international organisation and would disparage it at every turn. At present Bolton has turned out to be just the kind of fellow who fits into the reactionary White House run by Donald Trump.

The leaders of the United States are not the only ones who can purposely undermine international courts. Christoph Flügge tells of another incident wherein the government of Turkey arrested one of its own nationals, Aydın Sefa Akay, who was a judge on the international court at The Hague. At the time, Akay had diplomatic immunity by virtue of his position, a fact that the increasingly statist government in Istanbul ignored. Akay’s crime was to be judged insufficiently loyal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Flügge and his fellow judges strongly protested against the Turkish actions, but they were not supported by the present UN secretary-general, António Guterres (who himself is a former prime minister of Portugal). And, without that support, Akay lost his position as judge and was, so to speak, thrown to the dogs of nation-state arrogance.

Upon resigning, Judge Flügge had some seminal words of warning about the fate of international law. “Every incident in which judicial independence is breached is one too many.” The cases of Turkish and US interference with the International Criminal Court set a fatal precedent “and everyone can invoke it in the future. Everyone can say: ‘But you let Turkey get its way.’ This is an original sin. It can’t be fixed.” Commenting on the threat levelled by John Bolton, Flügge said, “the American threats against international judges clearly show the new political climate… The judges on the court were stunned.” Yet, this behaviour was quite in accord with nation-state aggrandisement and American exceptionalism – national sovereignty stands above international law.

Example 2: Suborning of international police

It is not only the world’s international laws and international court that are being undermined, but also Interpol, the world’s international police force. Nation-state leaders, particularly the dictators who place their interests and preferences above even their own domestic law, now seek to suborn Interpol and use it as a weapon to silence their critics.

The latest example of this comes out of Bahrain. Bahrain is a wealthy monarchical dictatorship in the Persian Gulf. It is run by a Sunni elite minority which systematically represses the country’s Shi’i majority. By doing so, its major “achievement” to date has been to give the religion of Islam a bad name. It is also a staunch US ally, and the US Fifth Fleet is based in that country. If you want to know where much of the US naval forces supporting the Saudi destruction of Yemen come from, it is Bahrain.

So, how is the dictatorship in Bahrain corrupting the world’s international police force? One of the players on Bahrain’s national soccer team, Hakeem al-Araibi, vocally expressed his dissent over the way Bahrain is run. He was then framed for “vandalising a police station”, even though he was playing in a football match, broadcast on TV, at the time of the incident. He was arrested, beaten up in jail, yet still managed to escape to Australia, where he was granted asylum. At this point Bahrain managed to have Interpol issue a fraudulent arrest warrant. When Al-Araibi showed up in Thailand on his honeymoon, he was taken into custody and now awaits possible extradition back to Bahrain, where he may well face torture. By the way, it is a violation of international law to extradite someone to a country where he or she risks being tortured. So far Thailand has not taken advantage of this legal and moral reason to defy the Bahraini monarchy.

This is not an isolated problem. The watchdog organisation Fair Trials has documented multiple cases of the corruption and abuse of Interpol by governments which do not feel themselves bound by the rule of law.

Conclusion

There is little doubt that the 21st century has begun with an assault on both the climatic and legal atmosphere that underpins the world’s stability.

Before 1946 the world was a mess: one hot war after another, economic recessions and depressions, imperialism, colonialism, and racism galore. All of this was grounded in the nation state and its claim of sacred sovereignty. The world experienced a sort of climax to this horror show in the form of Nazi racism and the holocaust, the use of nuclear weapons, and Stalinist Russia’s purges, mass starvations and Gulag exiles.

After World War II, things got better in a slow sort of way. The trauma of the recent past spurred on the formation of international laws, international courts, a universal declaration of human rights, civil rights movements and the like. We also got the Cold War, which, for all its tensions, was a big improvement on hot wars.

Now things are falling apart again, and rest assured that US leaders and their less savoury allies abroad are doing their part in the devolution of peace and justice. Shall we name just a few US names? Well, there is President Trump and his minion John Bolton. They go gaga over thugs passing themselves off as presidents in such nation-states as Egypt, the Philippines and that pseudo-democracy, Israel. There is also Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has turned into the US version of Cardinal Richelieu when it comes to Washington’s South America foreign policy. He is the one pushing for the overthrow of the legitimate government in Venezuela while simultaneously calling for close relations with the new fascist president of Brazil.

And the list goes on. How do we do this to ourselves? Is it short memories of the wretched past or almost no historical memory at all? Is it some sort of perverse liking for group violence? This is an important question and a perennial one. But now, with global warming upon us and lifestyles soon to be under threat, things are going to get even more messy – and messy social and economic situations are usually good news for barbarians. More than ever, we are going to need uncorrupted international laws, courts and police.

Ex Guantanamo prisoner recounts ordeal and displays GITMO-prisoners’ art

Source

February 09, 2019

Here is an interview of Mansoor Adayfi:

Tales of torture from israel’s prisons

Tales of Torture From Israel’s Prisons

As Israel prepares to worsen conditions for Palestinian prisoners, we asked six former inmates about their experiences.

by &
Palestinian boys raise up their hands with chains, during a protest to show their solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, May 4, 2017 [File: Hussein Malla/AP)

Palestinian boys raise up their hands with chains, during a protest to show their solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, May 4, 2017 [File: Hussein Malla/AP)

Earlier this month, Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced plans to “worsen” already horrific conditions for Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s jails.

According to the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, there are nearly 5,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including 230 children and 54 women. Of that number, 481 prisoners are held without trial – under the guise of an unlawful practice known as “administrative detention”. 

Speaking to reporters on January 2, Erdan disclosed some aspects of his plan, but a sinister context was missing from the story.

The minister said the prisoners will be denied “cooking rights”, yet failed to mention that many prisoners, especially during the first stage of their detention, are tortured and denied food altogether. “The plan also includes preventing members of the Knesset from visiting Palestinian detainees,” Erdan added but did not mention how hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are already denied access to lawyers and family visitations on a regular basis.

There is no reason to doubt the Israeli minister’s words when he vows to worsen conditions for Palestinian prisoners. However, the horrific conditions under which thousands of Palestinians are held in Israeli jails – which itself is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention – are already at a stage that can only be described as inhumane as they fail the minimum standards set by international and humanitarian laws.

No one is as qualified to describe Israeli prison conditions as Palestinian prisoners, who experienced every form of physical and psychological torture, and have spent years, sometimes decades, fending for their humanity every hour of every day.

We spoke to six freed prisoners, including two women and a child, who shared their stories with us, with the hope that their testimonies would help the world understand the true context of Erdan’s latest plan.

I was only 16 when I decided to wear an explosive belt and blow myself up among Israeli occupation soldiers. It was all I could do to avenge Muhammad al-Durrah, the 12-year-old Palestinian child who was brutally killed by Israeli soldiers in front of television cameras in September 2000. When I saw the footage of Muhammad huddling by his father’s side, as soldiers showered them both with bullets, I felt powerless. That poor child. But I was arrested, and those who helped me train for my mission were killed three months after my detention.

Wafa’ Samir Ibrahim al-Bis was born in the Jablaiya refugee camp in Gaza. She was 16-years-old when she was detained on May 20, 2005. She was sentenced to 12-years in prison after she was convicted of attempting to carry out a suicide mission targeting Israeli soldiers. She was released in 2011 in a prisoner swap between the Palestinian Resistance and Israel [Courtesy of Ramzy Baroud and Abdallah Aljamal]

I was tortured for years inside the Ramleh prison’s infamous Cell nine, a torture chamber they designated for people like me. I was hanged from the ceiling and beaten. They put a black bag on my head as they beat and interrogated me for many hours and days. They released dogs and mice in my cell. I couldn’t sleep for days at a time. They stripped me naked and left me like that for days on end. They didn’t allow me to meet with a lawyer or even receive visits from the Red Cross.

They had me sleep on an old, dirty mattress that was as hard as nails. I was in solitary confinement in Cell number nine for two years. I felt that I was buried alive. Once they hanged me for three days nonstop. I screamed as loud as I could, but no one would untie me.

When I was in prison, I felt so lonely. Then one day, I saw a little cat walking among the rooms, so I kept throwing her food so that she would be my friend. Eventually, she started coming inside my cell and would stay with me for hours. When the guards discovered that she was keeping me company, they slit her throat in front of me. I cried for her more than I cried for my own fate.

A few days later, I asked the guard for a cup of tea. She came back and said: “stick your hand out to grab the cup”. I did, but instead she poured boiling water on my hand, causing third-degree burns. I have scars from this incident to this day and I still need help treating my hand.

I cry for Israa’ Ja’abis, whose whole body has been burned yet she remains in an Israeli jail.

I often think of all the women prisoners I left behind.

In May 2015, I wanted to visit my family living in the West Bank. I was missing them terribly as I hadn’t seen them for years. But as soon as I arrived to the Beit Hanoun (Eretz) Crossing, I was detained by Israeli soldiers.

My ordeal on that day started at about 7:30 in the morning. Soldiers searched me in such a humiliating way. They probed every part of my body. They forced me to undress completely. I stayed in that condition till midnight.

In the end, they chained my hands and feet, and blindfolded me. I begged the officer in charge to allow me to call my family because they were still waiting on the other side of the crossing. The soldiers agreed on the condition that I use the exact phrase: “I am not coming home tonight,” and nothing more.

Sana’a Mohammed Hussein al-Hafi was born in the West Bank. She moved to the Gaza Strip after meeting her future husband. She spent 10 months in prison and a further five months under house arrest for transferring money to a ‘hostile entity (Hamas)’ [Courtesy of Ramzy Baroud and Abdallah Aljamal]

Then more soldiers arrived. They threw me in the back of a large military truck. I felt the presence of many dogs and men surrounding me. The dogs barked and the men laughed. I was so scared.

I was taken to the Ashkelon military compound, where I was searched again in the exact same degrading manner, and placed in a very small cell with a dim light. It smelled terrible. It was very cold although it was early summer. The bed was tiny and filthy. The covers too. The soldiers took all of my possessions, including my watch.

I couldn’t sleep, as I was interrogated every few hours. I would sit on a wooden chair for long periods of time to be subjected to the same routine, filled with shouting and insults and dirty language. I was kept in the Ashkelon compound for seven days. They allowed me to shower once, with very cold water.

At night, I heard voices of men and women being tortured; angry shouts in Hebrew and broken Arabic; doors slamming in a most disturbing manner.

At the end of that week, I was transferred to HaSharon prison, where I was relieved to be with other Palestinian female prisoners, some minors, some mothers like me, and some old ladies.

Every two or three days, I was taken out of my cell for more interrogation. I would leave at dawn and return around midnight. Occasionally, I was put in a large military truck with other women and taken to military court. We were either chained individually or to each other. We would wait for hours only to be told that the court session had been postponed to a later date.

In our cells, we struggled to survive under harsh conditions and medical neglect. Once an old woman prisoner collapsed. She had diabetes and was receiving no medical attention. We all started screaming and crying. Somehow, she survived.

I was in prison for ten months. When I was finally released from prison, I was put under house arrest in Jerusalem for another 5 months. I missed my family. I thought about them every hour of every day. No words can describe how harrowing that experience was, to have your freedom taken away, to live without dignity and without rights.

No words.

The day I saw my mother
Fuad Qassim al-Razam

I have experienced both psychological and physical torture in Israeli jails, which forced me to confess to things I did and didn’t do.

Fuad Qassim al-Razam was born in the Palestinian city of Jerusalem. He spent 31 years in prison for killing an Israeli soldier and an armed settler among other charges [Courtesy of Ramzy Baroud and Abdallah Aljamal]

The first phase of detention is usually the most difficult because the torture is most intense and the methods are most brutal. I was denied food and sleep and I was left hanging from the ceiling for hours. At times I was left standing in the rain, naked, tied to a pole, with a bag on my head. I would be left in that condition the whole day, while occasionally getting punched, kicked and hit with sticks by soldiers.

I was forbidden from seeing my family for years, and when I finally was allowed to see my mother, she was dying. An ambulance brought her to Beir Al-Saba’ prison, and I was taken in my shackles to see her. She was in terrible health and could no longer speak. I remember the tubes coming out of her hands and nose. Her arms were bruised and blue from where the needles entered her frail skin.

I knew it would be the last time I would ever see her, so I read some Quran to her before they took me back to my cell. She died 20 days later. I know she was proud of me. When I was released, I was not allowed to read verses from the Quran by her grave as I was deported to Gaza immediately after the prisoner exchange in 2011.

One day I will visit her grave.

‘They burned my genitals’
Mohammed Abul-Aziz Abu Shawish

I was arrested by Israel seven times; the first time I was six-years-old. That was in 1970. Then, they accused me of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers. I was arrested again when I was a teenager. That time I was beaten up and an Israeli officer lit a match under my genitals. They stripped my clothes off and placed my underwear in my mouth to muffle my screams. I felt pain when I tried to use the bathroom for many days after that incident.

Mohammed Abul-Aziz Abu Shawish was born in the Nuseirat Refugee camp in Gaza in 1964. His family is originally from Barqa, a village in southern Palestine that was ethnically-cleansed in 1948. He spent 9 years in prison after being charged with possessing a weapon and being a member of the Fatah movement [Courtesy of Ramzy Baroud and Abdallah Aljamal]

My last imprisonment was the longest. I was detained on April 23, 1985, and remained in jail for 9 years to be released after the signing of the Oslo Accords.

Even in prison, our fight for our rights never ceased. We fought through hunger strikes and they fought us back with isolation and torture. As soon as the prison administration would concede to our demands, to end our strike, they would slowly deprive us from everything we had achieved. They would withhold food, prevent family visitations, even prevent us from meeting with our own prison mates. They often confiscated our books and other educational materials for no reason whatsoever.

When I was released on January 8, 1994, I joined the prisoner rehabilitation unit in the Labour Ministry. I tried my best to help my fellow freed prisoners. Since I retired, I wrote a book entitled: Before My Tormentor is Dead, detailing the years of my imprisonment.

I am not a trained writer, I just want the world to know of our plight.

‘They detained my family’
Shadi Farah

I was arrested on December 30, 2015, when I was only 12-years-old. I was released on November 29, 2018. At the time, I was the youngest Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails.

Shadi Farah was arrested in his home in Jerusalem at the age of 12. He was accused of trying to kill Israeli soldiers with a knife they found at his house [Courtesy of Ramzy Baroud and Abdallah Aljamal]

My interrogation took place in the Maskoubiah prison in Jerusalem, specifically in Cell number four. After days of physical torture, sleep deprivation and severe beating, they imprisoned my whole family – my mom and dad and sisters and brothers.

They told me that my family was held captive because of me and they would only be released if I confessed to my crimes. They swore at me with profanity I cannot repeat. They threatened to do unspeakable things to my mom and sisters.

After each torture session, I would return to my cell so desperate to sleep. But then soldiers would wake me up by slapping my face, kicking me with their boots and punching me in the stomach.

I love my family, and when they used to prevent them from visiting me, it broke my heart.

‘Prisoners are heros’
Jihad Jamil Abu-Ghabn

In prison, my jailers tried to break my spirit and take away my dignity, not just through violence, but also through specific techniques meant to humiliate and demoralise me.

Jihad Jamil Abu-Ghabn spent nearly 24 years in Israeli jails for participating in the first Intifada and for being involved in the killing of an Israeli settler. He was released in 2011 [Courtesy of Ramzy Baroud and Abdallah Aljamal]

They often placed a bag with a most foul smell over my head, which led me to vomit repeatedly inside the bag. When the bag was removed, I would be left with a swollen face and a massive headache from the intermittent deprivation of oxygen.

Throughout my interrogation (which lasted for months), they had me sit on a chair with uneven legs for hours on end. I could never find a comfortable position, which left me with permanent pain in my back and neck.

At times they would introduce ‘prisoners’ to my cell, claiming to be genuine members of the Palestinian Resistance. I would later discover that these prisoners were actually collaborators who were trying to trick me into confessing. We called these collaborators assafir (birds).

Palestinian prisoners are heroes. No words can describe their legendary steadfastness and unfathomable sacrifices.

Yousef Aljamal contributed to this article.

The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance. 

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