Tutu backs Barghouti for Nobel Peace Prize

Tutu backs Barghouti for Nobel Peace Prize


OSLO — South African archbishop Desmond Tutu nominated imprisoned Palestinian political figure Marwan Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize this week.

In a letter sent to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Tutu wrote of Barghouti being a symbol of the Palestinian people and their “struggle for freedom, [which] constitutes a clear signal of support for the realization of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights, including to self-determination.”

Barghouti’s plight has been known worldwide. The first of several Palestinian parliamentarians to be abducted and imprisoned in 2002 by Israel, for many, he stands as a symbol of injustice against the Israeli occupation.

In the letter, Tutu spoke of Barghouti’s continuous advocacy for lasting peace, despite years of imprisonment and isolation.

Tutu, the first black archbishop of Cape Town, is also a member of the International High Level Committee of the Campaign for the Freedom of Barghouti and all Palestinian prisoners.

Tutu also wrote of the Palestinian struggle saying: “Israel has arrested since 1967 over 850,000 Palestinians in the most striking example of mass arbitrary arrest in contemporary history. It has arrested leaders, militants, academics, journalists, children, women, the elderly and human rights defenders in an attempt to break the will of an entire people striving for freedom and independence.”

“The 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails today are a reflection of the imprisonment of a nation and the negation of its rights, through occupation, oppression and siege. The freedom of the Palestinian prisoners is a pre-requisite for the freedom of the Palestinian people,” it also said. — Al Arabiya News