Desmond Tutu, South African archbishop and 1984 Nobel Peace winner, on Monday nominated Marwan Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is the sixth nomination for the imprisoned Palestinian parliamentary member.
Ma’an reported that Tutu wrote in a letter shared by the Palestinian Liberation Organization on Tuesday, “The 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”.
Tutu added, “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”.
— Ma'an News Agency (@MaanNewsAgency) June 7, 2016
Tutu, noted for his anti-apartheid activism has constantly denounced the Israeli occupation. In 1988, he spoke of Israel’s “many parallels with racism”. Tutu has been an ardent supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
In his letter, Tutu called the detention of elected Palestinian representatives such as Barghouti “a blatant attack against the Palestinian nation, democracy and rights”.
Tutu’s nomination of Barghouti was clear: “I hope the Nobel Committee will take a bold decision bringing us closer to the day this holy land, charged with unique symbolic value, can stop being a living testimony of injustice and impunity, occupation and apartheid, and can finally be a beacon of freedom, hope and peace.”
In addition to Tutu, Barghouti has this year been nominated by the Arab Parliament, Palestinian National Council speaker Saleem al-Zaanoun, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, leading members of Belgium’s parliament, and Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union President Nabih Berri.
Barghouti, a leading politician in the Fatah party, entered the 15th year of his prison sentence this year. He remains one of the most popular politicians in Palestine, receiving a wide range of support among various political factions.