Palestinian Political Prisoner Marwan Barghouti Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
by Stephen Lendman
Barghouti is Palestine’s most prominent political figure, a courageous freedom fighter, an advocate of resisting illegal Israeli occupation, why he was targeted in the first place.
In May 2004, he was wrongfully convicted on phony terrorism charges – receiving five consecutive life sentences plus 40 years.
Rigged show trial proceedings denied judicial fairness. Barghouti remains wrongfully imprisoned, victimized by Israeli viciousness.
Earlier he called himself “a political leader, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, elected by my people. Israel has no right to try me, to accuse me, to judge me.”
“This is a violation of international law. I have a (legal) right to resist occupation.”
Following his October 2002 indictment, he said “(t)he State of Israel is directly and indirectly criminally responsible for committing specific acts of genocide, ethnic cleansing, including uprooting Palestinians by military attacks, arbitrary arrests and illegal imprisonment, administrative detention, attacks on women, children and the elderly, systematic and wanton destruction of property and homes, (and) systematic expropriation and dispossession…”
It’s responsible for “(v)iolence to life and person (including assassinations), confiscation of lands and property, creation of separate reserves and Bantustans, disruptive public life and terrorizing a whole population (including collective punishment and reprisals)…”
His facts are indisputable. He remains a prisoner of conscience, courageously opposing lawless occupation, uncompromisingly supporting Palestinian liberation.
On Monday, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, prominent apartheid opponent/human rights activist Desmond Tutu nominated Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In his letter, he said “(t)he nomination of Marwan Barghouti, a symbol of the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, constitutes a clear signal of support for the realization of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights, including to self-determination.”
“I call on the members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to seize this occasion to bring attention back to the question of Palestine and to the calls for a just and lasting peace, a prospect Marwan Barghouti continues advocating and acting for, despite years of imprisonment and isolation.”
In May, seven Belgian MPs nominated Barghouti, including Gwenaelle Grovonius, Dirk Vandermaelen, Vincent Van Quickenborne, Jean-Marc Delizee, Beloit Hellings, Piet De Bruyn and Nadia El Yousfi.
Their nominating letter said “Marwan is an elected representative of the Palestinian nation, and was the first parliamentarian to be (wrongfully) arrested…”
“He is a democrat defending human rights, notably women’s rights. He was actively engaged in the promotion of political and religious pluralism, and as such he is an important actor for the future of a region more fragmented than ever…”
“Peace requires the freedom of Marwan Barghouthi and of the political prisoners, and more generally the freedom of the Palestinian people living for decades under occupation.”
“By granting the Nobel Peace Prize to the one who embodies the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, but also their aspiration to achieve peace, a leader that can unite Palestinians around a political project that clearly includes a two-state solution on 1967 borders, more threatened than ever by colonisation and the absence of a political horizon, the Committee for the Nobel Prize would help resurrect the indispensable hope to go out of the current impasse.”
Other Barghouti supporters include the Arab Parliament, Palestinian National Council speaker Saleem al-Zaanoun, Nobel Peace laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, and Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union president Nabih Berri.
In April, the Tunisian Human Rights League gave Barghouti’s wife, Fadwa, the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the country’s National Dialogue Quartet last year.
In the same month, British MPs from all political parties issued a parliamentary motion, calling on Israel to release Barghouti, saying it would “play a part in the process of reconciliation, unification and negotiation…needed before Palestine achieves its independence.”
Nobel tradition is long and inglorious, notoriously choosing war criminals over peace champions in awarding their highest honor.
Past recipients include a rogue’s gallery of some of history’s worst, notably Obama and Henry Kissinger, among many others.
A campaign for Barghouti began in April, Palestinian rights groups and political figures backing it. International efforts for his release began in 2013. Supporters call him Palestine’s Mandela.
If released and allowed to run for president in a free and open process, he’d win overwhelmingly. His redoubtable activism made him a marked man.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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