[Ppnews] Palestine - Political prisoners use experiences under torture to help others survive

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 4 12:52:13 EST 2009

Political prisoners to record experiences under 
interrogation to help others survive

04.02.09 - 09:25

Gaza / PNN – Palestinian factions are 
re-accounting the culture of resilience in the 
cellars of interrogation, says expert on the 
affairs of political prisoners, Abdel Nasser Ferwana.

Through the adoption of a clear strategy with 
consistent aims, victories could be won by sheer 
tenacity, Ferwana said today, but preparation is lacking.

“At the hands of Israeli interrogators hundreds 
of cases reveal that there is great steadfastness 
among those who are subjected to detention or 
arrest and just as many who falter,” said the 
former Palestinian Authority official.

A mistake was made, he said, in emphasizing the 
culture of fierce resistance and sacrificial 
operations. Ferwana said this was blown out of 
proportion in the press due to statements made 
and written by factions that attempted to make 
more out of that one aspect of the Al Aqsa 
Intifada that proportionally was minor. “This was 
a strategic mistake,” he said on Wednesday.

“This led to the collapse of many of the 
activists during interrogation after being 
arrested who ended up folding under intense 
interrogation methods and gave free information to the intelligence.”

Some of the people affected by the admissions are 
now sentenced to life terms or tens of years in prison.

About them Ferwana said, “There was also a 
problem with ignorance as to the methods of 
investigation being used and the training that 
the factions needed to be doing in preparation.”

He said that the culture of armed resistance 
should not be relegated to the preparation and 
execution of activities, but must follow through 
to the other side. “Resistance factions need to 
include in their tactical programs a fine-tuning 
of all components including establishing an 
integrated system to combine the culture of 
steadfastness outside to that of the later days 
in prison. Surviving interrogation requires 
preparation to preserve secrets without providing 
any information to the enemy.”

It is not just for people who have engaged in the 
armed resistance, but for all Palestinians who 
are subjected to the possibility of arrest, which 
includes most young men. Hundreds have admitted 
to acts they have not committed or have given the 
names of friends as "stone-throwers" in order to 
garner their own release. There are multiple 
other cases of youth listing names who speak 
against occupation. Additionally, leaders of the 
nonviolent resistance have been subjected to 
massive arrests throughout the years and similar conditions.

Ferwana stressed that it is necessary for each 
faction to inform its members in particular and 
the masses of people in general as to the latest 
forms of investigation and how to handle them. He 
suggests brochures and continuing studies that 
detail the arrest process and the interrogation period.

Why Ferwana is highlighting the issue today is 
that the fourth of February is the memorial of 
the death of armed resistance member Mustafa Al 
Akawi who resisted divulging secrets during torture.

Israel is public about its use of torture in 
investigation and subjected the Popular Front for 
the Liberation of Palestine member to multiple 
sessions. Al Akawi was arrested several times, 
the last being 22 January 1992. The leftist was 
35 at the time that he was tortured to death. He 
was not the only one, but is considered, says 
Ferwana, as a “solid leader” who “preferred to 
sacrifice his life to preserve the honor of the revolution and the nation.”

On the occasion of the memorial of Al Akawi’s 
death, political prisoner advocate Ferwana is 
asking that detainees write down their 
experiences under interrogation, both 
psychological and physical, in order to help others and themselves.

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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