Marwan Barghouthi was abducted on the 15th of April 2002 from Ramallah. He boycotted the court refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the oppressor’s courts and used his trial to prosecute the occupation and plead the case of the Palestinian people.
He was finally sentenced to 5 life sentences and 40 years, amidst wide national and international condemnations of the trial, which was attended by parliamentarians from across the globe and human rights figures and received unprecedented media attention. He has spent the last 12 years in Israeli jails, including over 3 years in solitary confinement. The arrest of Marwan Barghouthi marked the start of the internationalization of the Palestinian prisoners’ issue.
The report of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s legal expert, Mr. Simon Foreman, stated: “the numerous breaches of international law recalled in this report make it impossible to conclude that Mr. Barghouti was given a fair trial”. “The Barghouti case has very clearly demonstrated that, far from bringing security, the breaches of international law have , above all, undermined the authority of Israeli justice by casting discredit on its conduct of investigations and the procedures used.”
This trial demonstrated, once again, that the Israeli courts were instruments serving occupation rather than justice. The Inter-Parliamentary Union and the European Parliament both called for the release of Marwan Barghouthi and adopted resolutions in support of the release of imprisoned Palestinian MPs and of Palestinian prisoners’ rights.