PES President demands release of Palestinian leader on the 12th anniversary of his abduction


©Joe Catron

©Joe Catron

On the 25th of March PES President Sergei Stanishev met with Fadwa Barghouti, wife of Marwan Barghouti, renowned Fatah member and Palestinian reconciliation figure. Marwan Barghouti has spent a total of 17 years in prison, of which the last 11 years consecutively. The meeting took place in Amman at the Conference ‘A common vision for a progressive Arab world’ co-organized by the PES on the 24th and 25th of March.

‘The release of Mr Marwan Barghouti, and other Palestinian prisoners, is an important step in the process to get a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians’,said Sergei Stanishev after the meeting.

Nearly 5000 Palestinian Prisoners are currently held in Israeli prisons, of which women, children and 11 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

‘With the announcement of the Kerry peace framework coming up, it is more important than ever to find a solution that garners the support of both parties. Just as Israelis deserve to live in peace and security, Palestinians have the right to live in a state that is free from occupation. The violation of the rights of Palestinian prisoners cannot continue unabated. All forms of arrest and detention should take place in compliance with international human rights standards.’ stated PES pPesident.

At the end of April US Secretary of State John Kerry will likely announce a framework for peace, which is expected to be an important step in the Middle East Peace Process. Issues that will be part of the agreement are the borders of the Palestinian State, the status of Jerusalem, the military occupation of the West Bank, the right of return of Palestinian refugees, and the recognition of Israel as a Jewish democratic state. The PES supports the end of the occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders, with East-Jerusalem as its capital.