Ahmad Sa’adat is the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. One of nearly 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners, he has been sentenced to thirty years in Israeli prisons for a range of “security-related” political offenses. These charges include membership in a prohibited organization (the PFLP, of which Sa’adat is General Secretary), holding a post in a prohibited organization, and incitement, for a speech Sa’adat made following the Israeli assassination of his predecessor, Abu Ali Mustafa, in August 2001.
Sa’adat was targeted for imprisonment because of his political activity and in his capacity as a Palestinian leader. The systematic assassination, imprisonment and detention of Palestinian political leaders has long been a policy of the Israeli state, as reflected in the imprisonment of Sa’adat and over a dozen other members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including Marwan Barghouthi, as well as the nearly 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners, targeted for their involvement in and commitment to the struggle for the liberation of their land and people.
Born in 1953, Sa’adat is the child of refugees expelled from their home in the village of Deir Tarif, near Ramleh, in 1948. A math teacher by training, he is married to Abla Sa’adat, herself a noted activist, and is the father of four children. Abla Sa’adat was herself arrested and detained for four months, and prevented from leaving Palestine to speak about Palestinian rights at an international conference.
Ahmad Sa’adat has been involved in the Palestinian national movement since 1967, when he became active in the student movement. Prior to his abduction from Jericho in 2006, he had been held at various times as a political prisoner in Israeli jails, for a total of ten years. Sa’adat was elected General Secretary of the PFLP in 2001, following the Israeli assassination of then-General Secretary Abu Ali Mustafa in his office in Ramallah on August 27, 2001.
Sa’adat had been held in a Palestinian Authority prison for over four years, and, in January 2006, was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council on the Abu Ali Mustafa slate. On March 14, 2006, the Israeli military stormed that prison at Jericho, abducting Sa’adat and five fellow prisoners and taking them to Israeli military prisons. For the entire period of his imprisonment in the PA jails, he has been convicted of no crime; his sentencing – in an illegitimate military court of occupation, on December 25, 2008 – came nearly seven years into his detention, after a trial that began after five years of PA/US/British, then Israeli, imprisonment.
This trial was, of course, a military trial, as are the trials of nearly all Read the rest of this entry »