"First, the story does not provide any information about Khader Adnan’s case or the broader context of the Israeli military court system and its practices of administrative detention. Those details would have helped readers understand why his hunger strike campaign has received so much sympathy from Palestinians and support from human rights organizations. In the absence of details, the story gives the impression that he was a “convicted terrorist,” in the words of B’nai Brith, and readers may assume that he enjoyed a fair legal process, neither of which is true."
May 4, 2023
Laura Stone, Queen’s Park Reporter, Globe and Mail
Dear Ms. Stone,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to request an update to the story “Ontario NDP distances itself from newly elected MPP’s Twitter repost about Palestinian hunger striker,” which was published by the Globe and Mail on May 3, 2023.
Before I begin, I want to thank you for including a quote from my organization in your report, and thus including a perspective that is supportive of Jama. However, this does not make the story balanced, as it is still overwhelmingly weighted toward the opposite perspective and notably lacks comment from Palestinians themselves. It would have been useful, for example, to include the perspective of Noura Erakat, whose tweet is at the centre of this story. As a result, there are several issues that need to be updated.
First, the story does not provide any information about Khader Adnan’s case or the broader context of the Israeli military court system and its practices of administrative detention. Those details would have helped readers understand why his hunger strike campaign has received so much sympathy from Palestinians and support from human rights organizations. In the absence of details, the story gives the impression that he was a “convicted terrorist,” in the words of B’nai Brith, and readers may assume that he enjoyed a fair legal process, neither of which is true:
- As +972 magazine reports, Adnan “was never indicted for suspected armed activity.” Instead, the charges against him were about membership in a proscribed organization and “incitement,” which his lawyer claims were “not based on any evidence or even a confession, but rather on incriminations by people who do not know him.” He never went to trial and was never convicted.
- Adnan’s “custody” was in the Israeli military court system, and most of the time he has spent in prison has been in administrative detention, a widespread practice in which Israel holds Palestinian detainees indefinitely without charge or trial. In fact, Israel is holding more than 1,000 prisoners in administrative detention, the highest amount since 2003. It is these unfair practices that Adnan was striking against, which is why his protest is so widely supported.
Second, the story failed to mention that Khader Adnan’s death has been widely condemned by UN experts and international, Israeli, and Palestinian human rights groups, who hold Israeli authorities responsible. Due to this omission, readers are left to assume that the statement that Jama had retweeted was controversial and fringe, whereas it was consistent with the position of the international human rights community:
- According to UN experts: “The death of Khader Adnan is a tragic testament to Israel’s cruel and inhumane detention policy and practices, as well as the international community’s failure to hold Israel accountable in the face of callous illegalities perpetrated against Palestinians […] The systematic practice of administrative detention, is tantamount to a war crime of wilfully depriving protected persons of the rights of fair and regular trial.”
- According to Amnesty International: “The death of Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan is a reminder of the deadly cost that Palestinians pay for challenging Israel’s apartheid and a military justice system rigged against them […] Khader Adnan died in Israel’s Ramle prison on 2 May, after spending 87 days on hunger strike in protest at the Israeli authorities’ systematic arbitrary detention of Palestinians and cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners. Palestinian detainees frequently use hunger strikes to challenge such policies, risking their health and lives in order to demand the rights that Israel denies them.”
- According to 14 international, Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations: “Khader undertook his hunger strike — one of the few non-violent tools that remain for Palestinians — to oppose Israel’s long-term occupation and apartheid regime.”
- According to B’Tselem: “Khader ‘Adnan died in an Israeli prison while on hunger strike, a form of non-violent protest against his arrest and the injustices of the occupation … The fact that a person whose life was in danger remained in prison despite repeated requests to transfer him to a hospital reflects the absolute disregard Israel held for his life.”
- According to the Israel and Palestine Director of Human Rights Watch: “Make no mistake: Israel killed Khader Adnan. He valiantly struggled against injustice—multiple months-long hunger strikes against administrative detention—until his last breath. He never enjoyed a minute of freedom but dies w his head raised high. His resilience wont be forgotten.”
I request that the story is updated to:
1) Clarify that Adnan has not been convicted or charged with terrorism, and that his history of imprisonment has mostly been under administrative detention in Israel’s military court system, in which Israel arbitrarily detains large numbers of Palestinians without charge or trial; and
2) Clarify that his death has been widely condemned by UN experts and human rights groups, and that the statement that Jama tweeted is consistent with the position of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and many Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations.
Thank you for making these updates promptly. Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Michael Bueckert, PhD
Vice President, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
CC: Sylvia Stead, Public Editor, Globe and Mail
 Oren Ziv, “‘Tell everyone I have a right to live like any human being’”, +972 Magazine, May 2, 2023, https://www.972mag.com/khader-adnan-hunger-strike-death/
 AP, “Israel holding over 1,000 without charge, most since 2003,” https://apnews.com/article/prison-israel-palestinians-administrative-detention-e4ffd1744a9692c2539a78a8d916176e
 United Nations, “Israel: UN experts demand accountability for death of Khader Adnan and mass arbitrary detention of Palestinians,” May 3, 2023, https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/05/israel-un-experts-demand-accountability-death-khader-adnan-and-mass
 Amnesty International, “Israel/OPT: Death of Khader Adnan highlights Israel’s cruel treatment of Palestinian prisoners,” May 3, 2023, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2023/05/israel-opt-death-of-khader-adnan-highlights-israels-cruel-treatment-of-palestinian-prisoners/
 “Human Rights Violations Resulted in Khader Adnan’s Death,” statement signed by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Amnesty International Israel, Bimkom – Planners for Human Rights, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, Ir Amim, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, MEDACT – Health Workers for Health Justice, Parents against Child Detention, Plateforme Palestine, Physicians for Human Rights Israel, and The Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI), May 4, 2023, https://www.phr.org.il/en/khaderadnan/
 B’Tselem, Tweet, May 2, 2023, https://twitter.com/btselem/status/1653365421217570818?s=20
 Omar Shakir, Tweet, May 2, 2023, https://twitter.com/OmarSShakir/status/1653255187568513026?s=20