By Al Qalam Reporter
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation participated in the recent Irish launch of the Free Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian Political Prisoners campaign in Dublin recently.
The Foundation’s director, Neeshan Balton, was one of the key speakers at the launch along with Marwan Barghouthi’s wife, Fadwa, and various prominent Irish personalities.
The launch also saw the endorsement of the campaign by all political parties serving in the Irish parliament.
Barghouthi, who this April marked his 12th year in an Israeli prison, is considered to be the Nelson Mandela of Palestine. Speaking at the launch, Balton emphasised the important role that political prisoners could play in bringing peace to the region, if freed. He provided examples of prisoners such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jomo Kenyatta and Nelson Mandela, who were all key to negotiations and political settlements in their countries once released.
“Now that elections are over, we want parliamentarians in the National Assembly and the Provincial Legislatures, to sign the Robben Island Declaration calling for the release of Palestinian political prisoners. Our politicians should note that 11 of their counterparts from the Palestinian Legislative Council, amongst them Barghouthi, are incarcerated by Israel,” he added.
Balton promised that the Declaration will also be taken to every municipality and councillor in South Africa by the end of the year.
A formal South African campaign committee will be established, and a list of patrons who support the cause, will also be drawn up