PLO Department of Culture and Information
For Immediate Release 18 May 2016
The High Level Committee for the freedom of Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian prisoners has confirmed its full support and endorsement of the nomination of the leader Marwan Barghouthi, imprisoned in Israeli occupation jails since the 15th of April 2002, for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In a statement released today after a meeting in the Palestinian Liberation Organization headquarters in Ramallah, the Committee declared that “the first nomination came from the Argentinian human rights figure, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 1980. Other followed, including by the Arab Parliament, and leading Belgian parliamentarians”. The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, the Tunisian Quartet, declared their support to the campaign and dedicated their Noble award to the leader Marwan Barghouthi.
The Committee called all the organizations, political parties, governments and parliaments to support this campaign underlying this nomination constitutes an expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian prisoners, as well as an import support to the legitimate struggle against the occupation and its illegal policies, including extra-judicial killings, colonization, arbitrary arrests, home demolitions, attacks against Muslim and Christian holy sites, confiscation of land, the Wall, and the horrific siege against the Gaza Strip.
The Committee recalled that the International Campaign for the freedom of Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian prisoners, and the Robben Island Declaration, founding text of the Campaign, were launched from the cell of the universal symbol and leader Nelson Mandela on Robben Island on the 27th of October 2013.
“8 Noble Peace Price laureates joined the campaign and signed the Robben Island Declaration, as well as 115 governments from across the globe, hundreds of former Heads of States and Governments, parliamentarians, artists, intellectuals, academics, and thousands of citizens. Tens of European cities granted Marwan Barghouthi honorary citizenship considering him a global symbol for freedom.
The Campaign underlined that the freedom of Marwan Barghouti and all Palestinian prisoners and the struggle of the Palestinian people to achieve their inalienable rights in freedom, return and independence, are an integral part of the struggle of humanity throughout history against the forces of colonialism and occupation, racism, extremism and tyranny. Marwan Barghouti stated from his cell: “Apartheid did not prevail in South Africa and it shall not prevail in Palestine”.
Ahmed Kathrada launched the Free Mandela Campaign. 50 years later, he became the Founder of the International Campaign for the freedom of Marwan Barghouti and all prisoners. He stated at the occasion of the inauguration of the Mandela Statute in Ramallah “Humans are born and remain free and equal in rights, and it is our duty to ensure freedom and dignity for all. Today, Palestine is the world capital of this universal struggle”.
The High Level National Committee conveyed its greetings and appreciation to Adolfo PérezEsquivel, the Arab and the Belgian Parliaments, and to the Tunisian Quartet on the nomination of the leader Marwan Barghouthi for the Nobel Peace Prize. It extended the expression of its appreciation to all those contributing to the nomination campaign. It also praised the efforts of all those supporting the International Campaign for the freedom of Marwan Barghouti and all Palestinian prisoners.
The Committee paid tribute to the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and to the resilience of Marwan Barghouti and his fellow parliamentarians in Israeli jails, Ahmed Saadat, Khalida Jarrar, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, Hatem Kufaisheh, Mohammed Abu Teir, Abdel Jaber Foqaha’, and to all the women and men in Israeli jails, including the leaders, the longest serving prisoners, the sick prisoners and children.
The High Level National Committee is composed of Palestinian leaders from all factions, the Minister of detainees and ex-detainees, the President of the Prisoners’ Society, civil society and human rights figures.
Composition of the High Level National Committee: Hanan Ashrawi, Qais Abdelkarim, Azzam Al-Ahmad, Mamdouh Alaker, Mustafa Barghouthi, Ayman Daraghmeh, Qaddura Fares, Shawan Jabarin, Zahira Kamal, Nabeel Kassis, Rifaat Kassis, Abdelrahim Malouh, Hanna Nasir, Issa Qaraqe’, Bassam Salhi, Nabeel Shaath, Azmi Shuaibi, Raji Sourani, Abbas Zaki.