“To see my children is tastier than food, and being with other human beings is more stimulating than drink”
Abdullah al-Barghouti is on hunger-strike to obtain a mere fraction the rights he is entitled to as a human being and as a father. He has been prohibited from seeing his family since he was arrested over ten years ago and has remained in solitary confinement for the same duration.
His demands include:
- To be released from solitary confinement
- To be allowed family visits
- To be allowed to see his children
Abdullah Ghaleb Abdullah al-Barghouthi was born in Kuwait in 1972. In 1998 he returned to his village of Beit Rima where, in the same year, he married and started a family. Barghouthi’s journey began at the outset of the al-Aqsa Intifada. In August 2001, he was arrested by the Palestinian Authorities and released less than a month later. According to his wife “From that time on, Abdullah has not returned to the house as he became wanted by the Israeli occupation, and for a very long time, we knew nothing of him.” During the period in which he was being hunted, according to al-Barghouthi, he managed to carry out a number of operations against the Israeli occupation in retaliation for brutal targeted assassinations and massacres carried out by their forces. After more than 15 months, Israeli intelligence managed to track him down in March 2003, despite being unsure of his identity. He was surprised by Special Forces and captured one morning as he left a Ramallah hospital where he had been attending to the emergency treatment of his oldest child. He was handcuffed, bound and thrown into a military vehicle as his three and a half year daughter was left in shock crying bitterly and alone on the sidewalk.
Al-Barghouti was continually interrogated and tortured for more than five months.
Although the maximum legal duration for detention does not exceed 90 days, al-Barghouthi was continually interrogated and tortured for more than five months – he was arrested in March and was not released until November. On the 31st November, the Israeli Military Courts convened an urgent session where a final judgement against him was pronounced; he was sentenced 67 life sentences which is the longest sentence of any Palestinian prisoner.