saadatcourt8The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat reported that as of September 14, 2014, Ahmad Sa’adat, imprisoned Palestinian national leader, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has been denied family visits for a three-month period. This order was given without reasons or justifications, and was presented to Sa’adat, who refused to sign the order. Sa’adat’s refusal to sign the order is part of a long history of his refusal to legitimize or recognize the structures of Israeli oppression, including the military courts who sentenced him to 30 years in prison on political charges.

This escalation in repression against Sa’adat, who has in the past spent over three years in isolation denied any access to his family, comes as part of an ongoing campaign of repression and harassment directed against Palestinian political prisoners since June 2014. Thousands of Palestinians were arrested in this period, raising the number of political prisoners from 5,200 to nearly 7,000 over this period, while hundreds of Palestinians were sentenced to administrative detention without charge or trial, more than doubling the number of people held in administrative detention. A series of politically motivated repressive conditions have been imposed on prisoners, including denial of family visits, frequent transfers from one prison to another, removal of electronic devices, denial of access to the canteen, denial of access to Arabic-language media, and frequent incursions and violent attacks on prisoners’ sections, ransacking rooms and damaging belongings. These attacks were arbitrarily imposed first on prisoners affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and then on prisoners affiliated with the Popular Front.  Hundreds of prisoners are now being denied family visits by occupation prison authorities.

In a statement, the PFLP said that “This is a desperate and futile attempt to break the will and resolve of Palestinian leaders and symbols of the Palestinian national prisoners’ movement, which is a part of the systematic campaign of persecution waged by the prison administration against prisoners throughout the occupation prisons.”