Robben Island Declaration signed

The most prominent signatories of the Robben Island Declaration finally revealed


The Robben Island Declaration is the founding text of the International Campaign for the freedom of Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian prisoners launched from the cell of Nelson Mandela on Robben island on the 27th of October 2013. The Declaration was issued by an International High Level Committee (IHLC) composed of leaders and former leaders, other political and cultural international figures, Nobel peace prize laureates, renowned former political prisoners. In the last 6 months, the International Campaign, with the support of Embassies of the State of Palestine, National committees of the Campaign and solidarity movements across the globe, has received thousands of signatures from over 30 countries including Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Burma, East Timor, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Ireland, Italy, Mali, Malta, Namibia, Nicaragua, Peru, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Uruguay, USA, Yemen.

The Robben Island Declaration has been signed until now by

International political figures, Former Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers and Ministers

  • Nabil El Araby, Secretary general of the League of Arab States (IHLC), former Foreign Minister of Egypt, former Member of the International Court of Justice

  • Kgalema Mothlanthe, former President and current Deputy President of South Africa
  • Jimmy Carter, former US President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

  • Jose Ramos Horta, former President of East Timor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (IHLC)

  • Demetris Christofias, former President of Cyprus
  • Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, former President of Malta

  • Hussain Muhammad Ershad, former President of Bangladesh

  • John Bruton, former Prime Minister of Ireland (IHLC)

  • Sergei Stepashin, former Prime Minister of the Russian Federation

  • Theo Ben-Gurirab, former Prime Minister of Namibia, Speaker of Parliament and Honorary President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, former President of the UN General Assembly (IHLC)

  • Massimo d’Alema, former Prime Minister of Italy

  • Michel Rocard, former Prime Minister of France

  • Khalida Zia, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh

  • Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, former Prime Minister of Malta

  • Lena Hjelm Wallen, former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden (IHLC)

  • Federico Mayor Zaragoza, former Director general of UNESCO

  • Ibrahima Fall, former Foreign Minister of Senegal, former Under-Secretary general for political affairs, former Under-Secretary general in charge of Human rights and former Director of the Center for Human rights in Geneva

  • Jorge Taiana, former Foreign Minister of Argentina

  • Hervé de Charette, former Foreign Minister of France
  • Alex Sceberras Trigona, former Foreign Minister of Malta

  • Carmelita Pires, former Minister of Justice of Guinea-Bissau

  • Zeïni Moulaye, former Minister of Transports and Tourism, Mali

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

Alongside Presidents Jimmy Carter and Jose Ramos Horta, 4 other Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have signed the Declaration

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa (IHLC)

  • Mairead Maguire, Northern Ireland (IHLC)

  • Jody Williams, USA (IHLC)

  • Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Argentina (IHLC)

Internationally renowned former prisoners

Alongside Adolfo Perez Esquivel, other internationally renowned former prisoners have signed the Declaration, including

  • Ahmed Kathrada, anti-apartheid icon who spent 26 years in Apartheid jails, South Africa (Founder IHLC)

  • Stéphane Hessel (+), resistant against the nazi regime, Ambassador of France and human rights icon (IHLC)

  • Angela Davis, US civil rights movement icon (IHLC)

  • U Win Tin, UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize, spent 19 years in prison, Burma (IHLC)

  • Gerry Adams, emblematic figure of the Irish struggle, initiated the peace process which succeeded in bringing an end to the conflict and was one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement, Ireland

  • Glezos Manolis, National Hero, emblematic figure of the resistance against nazism, former prisoner under Nazi rule and during the Greek Colonels’ dictatorship, spent over 11 years in prison, Member of Parliament, Greece

  • Organisations of mothers and grandmothers of prisoners or persons who disappeared by tens of thousands during the Argentinian dictatorship have also signed the Declaration, namely Abuelas dePlazade Mayo, Fundación Madres de la Plaza de Mayo and Madres de Plaza de Mayo – Linea Fundadora,


Alongside Theo Ben-Gurirab, Speaker of the Parliament of Namibia and Honorary President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, hundreds of Members of Parliament from across the globe signed the Robben Island Declaration including

  • Mustapha Ben Jaafar, President of the Constitutive Assembly, Tunisia

  • Santos René Nuñez Téllez, President of Parliament, Nicaragua

  • Angelo Farrugia, Speaker of Parliament, Malta

  • Daniel Abugattas, former President of Parliament, Member of Parliament, Chair of the Palestine-Peru parliamentary friendship group, Peru

  • Luisa Morgantini, former Vice-President of the European Parliament, Italy

  • Véronique De Keyser, Vice-President of the Middle East Working Group and of the Socialists & Democrats group in the European Parliament, Belgium

  • Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Chair of the Greens in the European Parliament
  • Jeremy Corbyn, Vice-Chair of the British All-party parliamentary group on Human rights

  • Patrick le Hyaric, Vice-Chair of the United European Left in the European Parliament
  • Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the inter-parliamentary group with Palestine including in Argentina, United Kingdom and Greece

  • Pierre Galand, Chairman of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, former Senator

  • Socorro Gomes, former Member of Parliament, President of World Peace Council and President of Brazilian Center for the Solidarity with the peoples and the struggle for Peace CEBRAPAZ

  • Hundreds of Parliamentarians across the globe

Artists and intellectuals

  • Alice Walker, American author, poet and activist. She received the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel “The Color Purple” in 1982.

  • Ken Loach, English film and television director. His films have received numerous awards including the Palme d’Or for “The Wind that shakes the Barley” in Cannes in 2006.

  • Breyten Breytenbach, South African writer, painter and poet.

  • Roger Waters, English musician, singer, songwriter and composer. He was one of the founders of the band Pink Floyd in 1965.

  • Ettore Scola, Italian film director, Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker 2013 prize at the Venice Film Festival.

  • Andrea Camilleri, Italian writer. He received in 2012 the Crime Writers Association International Dagger Award.

  • John Berger, English art critic, novelist, painter and poet. He received the Booker Prize in 1972 for his novel “G.”

  • Miguel Angel Estrella, Argentinian artist, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

  • Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian historian. Edward Said professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University.

  • Aki Kaurismaki, Finnish screenwriter and director. His film “The Man Without a Past” received the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival in 2002. Judith Butler, American philosopher and gender theorist.

  • Robert Ballagh, artist, painter and designer. He chaired the Irish National Congress, a non-party organisation working for peace in Northern Ireland, and he is currently President of the Ireland Institute, a Centre for historical and cultural studies. He served as the first chairman of the Artists’ Association of Ireland when it was founded in 1981.

  • Jim Fitzpatrick, artist. His most famous piece is his iconic two-tone portrait of Che Guevara created in 1968 and based on a photo by Alberto Korda.

  • Etienne Balibar, One of the leading French philosopher and distinguished Professor of French and Italian and comparative literature at the University of California.

  • Chico Whitaker, Brazilian architect, politician and social activist.

  • Q’orianka Kilcher, American singer, actress and activist.

  • Saleh Bakri, Palestinian theatre and film actor and activist.

  • Paul Laverty, Scottish screenwriter, lawyer and activist.

  • Pilar Bardem, Spanish film and television actress. Recipient of numerous awards.

Human rights figures

  • John Dugard, South Africa professor of International Law. Former UN special rapporteur to the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

  • Vandana Shiva, Indian environmental activist and anti-globalisation author. She received the right livelihood award in 1993.

  • Felicia Langer, Attorney and human rights activist. She received the Federal Cross of Merit in Germany in 2009.

  • Father Luigi Ciotti, Founder of Libera (Free), in charge of coordinating the effort of various Italian organizations against organized crime, He received the Cavalier of the Great Cross award, by the Italian Government.

  • Presidents of Human rights leagues

  • Professors, jurists, lawyers and human rights activists

The signatories also include other international high level figures, including Archbishop Ieronymos II, Archbishop of the Orthodox church of Athens and All Greece.

Mayors, Heads of Trade Unions, and thousands of citizens worldwide have also signed the Robben Island Declaration.



List of Signatories of the Robben Island Declaration by Country