The International Association of Democratic Lawyers, in a resolution released late last month, called for the immediate release of Maher al-Akhras, a Palestinian man imprisoned by Israeli occupation. Detained without charges under the notorious “administrative detention” policy, al-Akhras has been staging a hunger strike for almost 100 days.
Formed in 1946, two years before the creation of the so-called state of Israel, the IADL is a coalition of lawyers who consult with UNESCO with the stated mission of upholding international law and human rights. Released Oct. 25, the resolution identifies Israel as an “occupying power” that does not have the right to defend itself from Palestinians. (tinyurl.com/y5892gma) It calls for the release of all Palestinian prisoners as well as eight other demands:
- the immediate release of Maher al-Akhras and other Palestinians jailed without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention;
- the release of all other Palestinian prisoners jailed by Israel. The Israeli military courts, “security” prisoner regulations and administrative detention system are attempts to impose a legal fig leaf on illegal occupation and colonialism;
- an end to the practice of administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial;
- the end of the E.U-Israel Association Agreement and other free trade agreements with the Israeli state that serve to support and legitimize torture, occupation and colonization;
- the end of U.S. aid to Israel, which encompasses $3.8 billion in direct military aid to perpetuate the ongoing occupation of Palestinian and Arab land, including the occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights;
- Urges the U.N. Secretary General and all U.N. committees and agencies to take all available procedures and steps to bring to an end Israeli apartheid, war crimes and crimes against humanity in occupied Palestine, including the exclusion of the Israeli state from participation in the U.N. General Assembly as well as other committees and bodies;
- demands that the Israeli Ministry of Public Security, including the Israeli police and the “Border Police” in occupied Jerusalem, be excluded from research programs and joint initiatives funded by the European Union; and
- stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle for national liberation, self-determination, equality and return.
As WW reported Oct. 26, in putting his life on the line for the Palestinian struggle against colonial oppression, al-Akhras has shown immense courage, dedication and selflessness. His case further highlights both the resolve of Palestinians to be free in their own homeland and the extreme cruelty of Zionist occupiers who continue to rob Palestinians of their land and their freedom. His sacrifice is a beacon of hope for all those fighting for a free Palestine.
Free Maher al-Akhras! Free Khalida Jarrar! Free Georges Abdullah! Free Them All!