In the spotlight – Palestinian political prisoners

April 17, 2014
Sarah Benton

This posting has these items to mark Palestinian political prisoners’ day:

1) Joint Statement on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, from Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, Al Mezan, PCATI;
2) Palestine Mission UK:Marking the Day of the Palestinian Prisoner, includes strong statement from Saeb Erekat;
3) Palestine Mission UK: UK Specific Action, including an action4children pledge to sign;
4) Addameer: Joint Statement on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day
5) Occupied Palestine:Robben Island Declaration for the Freedom of Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian Prisoners;
6) FMAAPP: The most prominent signatories of the Robben Island Declaration;

adalah  pcati

Joint Statement on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day:
Israel must heed international calls to respect human rights of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)
Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)

17 April 2014

Today, on 17 April 2014, Palestinians around the world commemorate Prisoners’ Day in solidarity with thousands of Palestinian prisoners and detainees held in Israeli prisons.

To mark this important day in Palestinian society, four human rights organizations – Adalah, Al Mezan, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel – are issuing this joint statement to call upon the international community to urge Israel to heed growing international statements and recommendations to guarantee and protect the human rights of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons.

Since 1967, Israel has detained and imprisoned over 800,000 Palestinians as a means of maintaining and consolidating Israel’s control of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Today, according to Addameer, more than 5,200 Palestinian prisoners and detainees – including women and children, pre-Oslo Accords prisoners, and elected Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council – are being held in prisons located inside Israel, in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Israel’s violations of Palestinian prisoners’ basic human rights include the use of administrative detention without formal charge or trial; severe restrictions on family visits, lack of access to healthcare and independent doctors, and access to education; collective punishments such as solitary confinement; forced strip searches; violent night-time raids on inmates; and other practices that constitute torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In addition to these policies, Israel is proposing new laws, such as the Anti-Terror Bill and the Force-feeding Bill, which threaten to further infringe on the basic rights of Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

Despite these continued practices, this year’s Prisoners’ Day comes at a time of increasing international scrutiny and criticism towards Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in Israeli prisons:

European Parliament: In March 2014, members of the European Parliament conducted a Fact-Finding Mission to assess the conditions and polices towards Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. The mission was held in accordance with a European Parliament Resolution passed on 14 March 2013, following the death of prisoner Arafat Jaradat under Israeli custody. An investigation by a leading international forensic pathologist found that Jaradat had suffered acts of torture during custody and that this had led to his death, contradicting Israel’s account that Jaradat died of ‘natural causes’.

European Union: The EU also issued its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) report on Israel in March 2014, in which it highlighted continued complaints of the use of torture by Israel and the lack of investigations into these complaints. The EU further expressed concern of the continued excessive use of administrative detention, and emphasized the need to implement the recommendations of the Turkel Commission Report to ensure accountability of Israel’s security services. The EU ENP report echoed many of the issues highlighted in a joint NGO input submitted by the four partners in October 2013 regarding the human rights of prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons.

Protest in Ramallah, 2012 by families of prisoners illegally transferred to Israeli prisons. Photo by Shutterstock.

United Nations: In June 2013, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) issued harsh concluding observations of Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children detainees and prisoners, including harsh arrests and detentions of minors, night-time raids on Palestinian homes, denial of family supervision or contact during custody, solitary confinement against minors as punishment, and psychological and physical violence by police and security forces that constitute forms of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

We call upon the international community to demand that Israel incorporate these international recommendations in order to address the deteriorating human rights conditions of Palestinian prisoners and to end its breaches of international law. We demand that Israel end the practice of torture and ill-treatment against Palestinian prisoners, end its use of administrative detention, and end the severe tactics of arrest and detention of Palestinian minors. We further demand that Israel ends all discriminatory legislation that target the rights of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, and that it ensures transparency and accountability of Israeli security and prison authorities.

Project funded by the European Union- Joint Project  of Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and Al Mezan(Gaza).

Marking the Day of the Palestinian Prisoner

Palestinian Mission UK
April 17, 2014

Ambassador Hassassian, the Palestinian Mission UK said, “If there is one issue that unifies all Palestinians it is the prisoners. Since 1967 Israel has been incarcerating Palestinians from all walks of life subjecting Palestinian prisoners to torture, ill-treatment and stripping away their freedom and rights. The UK government should intervene immediately to put pressure on Israel to release all Palestinian prisoners and end its violations of international law, humanitarian law and human rights law.”

Statement by PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Saeb Erekat marking the Day of the Palestinian Prisoner.

For Palestinians, having loved ones in prison is not the exception: it is something which has affected every Palestinian family. In the context of prolonged occupation, Israel- a foreign military power- has unlawfully imposed itself on the land of another people and has oppressed millions, in many varying ways. The plight of the prisoners reflects the plight of the Palestinian people as a whole.

palestinian prisoners
Palestinian political prisoners – hooded, blindfolded, handcuffed. This is done to induce a feeling of helplessness and humiliation. Photo by Shutterstock

A staggering 800,000 Palestinians have been arrested by Israeli forces since 1967. 5224 remain incarcerated today, including administrative, sick, female and children detainees. These numbers reflect one of the worst experiences of imprisonment in contemporary history, designed to break the will of an entire nation seeking freedom.

Israel has criminalized all forms of resistance, both armed and peaceful, and even political and civic engagement. The Palestinian leadership has chosen to resist through diplomatic and peaceful means, in order to achieve the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights, as enshrined in international law. We now need to demonstrate to our people that this path leads to freedom and justice in an independent and democratic State of Palestine. Exist so that we can coexist.

The release of the Palestinian prisoners will be the first signal that freedom is on the way.

Now, we await the release of the remaining 30 Pre-Oslo prisoners still captive in occupation prisons. These are people who have been incarcerated for over 20 years. Karim Younes, the longest serving of these prisoners, has spent over 32 years of his life in Israeli jails.

Israel committed to releasing these prisoners as part of the Oslo Agreement in 1993, again in 1999 through the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement, and a third time in July 2013. In July last year, we agreed to postpone our accession to multilateral treaties and conventions for nine months in order to finally release the 104 Pre-Oslo prisoners. We fulfilled our commitment. Israel, yet again, did not.

Where else in the world could a State imprison the elected representatives of another country with such impunity? The national leader Marwan Barghouthi was the first Member of Parliament to be detained. April 15th 2014 marked the 12th anniversary of his abduction. There has been a total of 50 Palestinian parliamentarians in Israeli jails at one time or another, equivalent to over one third of the Palestinian Parliament. Eleven remain detained today, including the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Ahmed Saadat.

The level of support gathered by the International campaign for the freedom of Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian prisoners, and the signing of the Robben Island Declaration by prominent international figures, including six Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, church leaders, artists, parliamentarians, human rights figures, trade unions, and thousands of citizens, sends a clear message that must be heard: freedom of the Palestinian prisoners and freedom of the Palestinian people will pave the way to peace.

Israel must choose between the pursuit of occupation and the pursuit of peace. Each settlement, each arrest, each violation, each refusal to abide by its commitments and obligations, shows that Israel is heading in the wrong direction. But history teaches us that justice prevails. We follow the example of Nelson Mandela and the people of South Africa. No oppression, no denial of rights can continue forever.

Dr. Saeb Erekat
PLO Executive Committee Member

UK Specific Action:

Contact the FCO and demand that the UK government:
Put pressure on Israel to release all the Palestinian political prisoners. Email them at or writing to Foreign & Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH

Implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territory by taking appropriate measures to encourage G4S, a British private security company complicit with the Israeli occupation that provides services and equipment to Israeli prisons where Palestinian prisoners including children are tortured, mistreated and illegally transferred from the occupied State of Palestine into Israel in violation of international law and humanitarian and human rights law including the Fourth Geneva Convention and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to refrain from contributing to gross human rights abuses of Palestinians in accordance with the expected standard of conduct in the Guiding Principles and relevant international laws and standards.

Send a follow up Mission to assess progress made by Israel on the recommendations published in the report “Childran in military custody ” in 2012 by a delegation of independent UK lawyers led by Baroness Scotland and Lord Sedley that was commissioned by the FCO to assess the treatment of Palestinian children under the Israeli military court system.

Write to your MP and press him or her to ask the UK government to uphold justice by pressing Israel to release all Palestinian political prisoners

Support the International Campaign for the Freedom of Marwan Barghouti and All Palestinian Prisoners by urging your MP to sign the Robben Island Declaration that calls for the release of all Palestinian Prisoners.

Support Action for Palestinian Children’s Campaign to ensure the rights of Palestinian children are upheld in accordance with international human rights treaties and international law.
Sign the pledge, Action-4-Palestinian children, campaigning for a childhood free from fear

Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2014

April 17, 2014

Occupied Ramallah – On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners Day Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association salutes the continued struggle of the over 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners currently being held in Israeli prisons. Every year Israel arrests thousands of Palestinians in an attempt to suppress any resistance to its continued occupation and colonization, the result being the imprisonment of approximately 800,000 Palestinians since 1967.

Since the beginning of 2013 12 Palestinians have been killed during arrest operations by Israeli Occupying Forces, while another three have died as a result of medical neglect and another of torture. As of 1 March 2014 there were 5,224 Palestinian political prisoners being held in Israeli prisons. These include 183 administrative detainees; 210 children; 21 female prisoners; and 11 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

The situation of the prisoners continues to deteriorate as they face a wide range of violations against them. Both detainees and prisoners continue to suffer from ill-treatment and torture on a systematic basis, including children. Since 1967 71 prisoners have died as a result of torture, the last being Arafat Jaradat who was tortured to death in February 2013.

Inside the prisons the prisoners are regularly subjected to night-raids by Israeli Special Forces. During these raids the prisoners are severely beaten and have their personal property destroyed. In 2013 alone Addameer documented 175 raids, which is an increase of 75% since 2011. In addition to these raids the prisoners face other violations such as the denial of family visits; the imposition of fines; solitary confinement; and severe beatings.

Given the lack of appropriate medical care provided by the Israeli Prison Service there are currently more than 800 sick prisoners in need of medical treatment. Of these 193 suffer from some sort of chronic disease; 25 suffer from cancer; 85 suffer from a variety of disabilities, whether physical or psychological; and 120 are in immediate need to surgery. Since 1967, 53 prisoners have died as a result of medical neglect.
eshel prison
Eshel prison, one of Israel’s vast desert incarceration conplex. Palestinian prisoners rioted here following the death from cancer of a 64-year-old Palestinian prisoner, Maysara Abuhamdia, in Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital. Dozens of prisoners are being held in isolation in Eshel Prison in clear violation of the law, the Public Defender’s Office concluded after visiting the prison in December 2012.

The last twelve months also witnessed the continuation of a number of individual hunger strikes. In 2013 alone 38 prisoners launched hunger strikes for various reasons including their continued administrative detention and their re-arrest after being released in prisoner exchange deals. Currently Ayman Tbeisheh is the only prisoner on hunger strike and has been striking for 48 days. An extremely worrying recent development is proposed legislation before the Israeli Knesset which would allow for the reintroduction of force feeding of hunger strikers.

Many prisoners who had previously been released under prisoner exchange deals have been rearrested under Article 186 of Military Order 1651. Those rearrested are brought before a special Israeli military committee which is empowered to re-impose the remainder of their original sentence, based on completely secret evidence.

On Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2012 Palestinian civil society called for a campaign against the private security company G4S because of its complicity in the Israeli occupation. G4S is heavily involved not only in the illegal Israeli settlements and Annexation Wall but also in many of the prisons and detention centres where Palestinian political prisoners and interrogated, tortured and imprisoned. Over the last couple of years the campaign has made significant progress as G4S continues to lose contacts around the world as a result of its involvement in the Israeli occupation.

Ketziot, Israel’s most notorious desert prison complex, where most political prisoners are held along with African refugees

Earlier this month Addameer and the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee launched a campaign calling for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to divest its $120m stake from G4S. The campaign has been endorsed by over 140 Palestinian and international organizations and to date almost 11,000 signatures have been collected through an online petition. Addameer also recently released a G4S campaign video, ‘G4S: Securing War Crimes’.

In March 2014 a cross-party European Parliament fact-finding mission visited the 1948 Territories and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to investigate the situation of the Palestinian political prisoners. During the visit the delegation met with Palestinian and Israeli civil society organizations and other interested parties, as well as visiting Ofer military court. The delegation was prohibited from visiting any of the prisons which holds Palestinian political prisoners. To date the fact-finding mission has still to release its report.

Addameer urges the development of a national strategy to protect all Palestinian political detainees and prisoners held in Israeli prisons and ensure their release. This is particularly relevant given the recent signing of 15 international treaties and conventions, including the four Geneva Conventions, by the Palestinian Liberation Organization. This national strategy is necessary in order to counteract Israeli attempts to use the prisoners as political bargaining chips, which most recently was evident in its refusal to release the last group of 30 pre-Oslo prisoners on 29 March 2014. Unless such a strategy is developed Israel will continue to violate the prisoners’ rights and manipulate them for political purposes.

Addameer also emphasizes the importance of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign which is the primary international tool to help bring an end to the occupation. The campaign continues to make massive strides and we encourage people of conscience across the world to join the campaign to support the Palestinian people in their quest for freedom and self determination.

robben island-declaration

Robben Island Declaration for the Freedom of Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian Prisoners

Full text

October 27, 2013

We, the signatories affirm our conviction that freedom and dignity are the essence of civilisation. People around the globe, and throughout history, have risen to defend their freedom and dignity against colonial rule, oppression, apartheid, and segregation. Generations of men and women have made great sacrifices to forge universal values, uphold fundamental freedoms and advance international law and human rights. There is no greater risk to our civilisation than to relinquish these principles and to allow for their breach and denial without accountability.

Palestinian people have been struggling for decades for justice and the realisation of their inalienable rights. These rights have been repeatedly reaffirmed by countless United Nations resolutions. Universal values, international legality and human rights cannot stop at borders, nor admit double standards, and must be applied in Palestine. This is the way forward to a just and lasting peace in the region, for the benefit of all its peoples.

The realisation of these rights entails the release of Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian prisoners whose ongoing captivity is a reflection of the decades-long deprivation of freedom that the Palestinian people have, and continue, to endure. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been imprisoned at some point in their lives, in one of the most striking examples of mass detention aiming at destroying the national and social fabric of the occupied people, and to break its will to achieve freedom. Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners still languish today in Israel’s jails. Some Palestinian prisoners have spent over 30 years in Israeli prisons, making Israel, the occupying power, responsible for the longest periods of political detention in recent history.

The treatment of Palestinian prisoners from the moment of their arrest, during interrogation and trial, and during their detention, violates norms and standards prescribed by international law. These violations, including the absence of the most fundamental guarantees of a fair trial, the use of arbitrary detention, the ill-treatment of prisoners including the use of torture, the disregard for children’s rights, the lack of health-care for sick prisoners, transfer of prisoners into the territory of the occupying state, and the violations of the right to receive visits, as well as the arrest of elected representatives, require our attention and intervention.

Among these prisoners, a name has emerged both nationally and internationally, as central for unity, freedom and peace. Marwan Barghouthi has spent a total of nearly two decades of his life in Israeli prisons, including the last 11 years. He is the most prominent and renowned Palestinian political prisoner, a symbol of the Palestinian people’s quest for freedom, a uniting figure and an advocate of peace based on international law. As international efforts lead to the release of Nelson Mandela and of all the anti-apartheid prisoners, we believe that the international community’s moral, legal and political responsibility to assist the Palestinian people in the realisation of their rights, must help to secure the freedom of Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian political prisoners.

We therefore call, and pledge to act, for the release of Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian prisoners. Until their release, the rights of the Palestinian prisoners, as enshrined in international humanitarian law and human rights law, must be upheld and the arrest campaigns must cease.

One of the most important indicators of the readiness to make peace with your adversary is the release of all political prisoners, a powerful signal of the recognition of a people’s rights and just demands for freedom. It is the marker of a new era, where freedom will pave the way to peace. Occupation and peace are incompatible. Occupation, in all its manifestations, must end, so that freedom and dignity can prevail. Freedom must prevail for the conflict to end and for the peoples of the region to live in peace and security.

The most prominent signatories of the Robben Island Declaration

Published by  the International Campaign to Free Marwan Barghouti and All Palestinian Political Prisoners 

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 Centre 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

Alongside Presidents Jimmy Carter and Jose Ramos Horta, four 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 de Plaza de 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 Centre for  Solidarity with the peoples and the struggle for Peace CEBRAPAZ

Hundreds of Parliamentarians across the globe

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, a 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.

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.

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