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In the name of The European convention of human rights
by Yacov I. Claude
2009-04-21 08:54:45
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For a month now, we’ve been without any news from Dr Al Shaer, former Palestinian Vice Prime Minister, abducted from his home in Nablus in the night of April 18th to 19th. Nobody knows where he is being kept. All we know is that he should face Israeli military judges this Thursday April, 23rd.

nasfils_400Since 2006, Dr Al Shaer has been one of the few most constant partners in his support of a Bilingual Experimental Programme of education to the non-violent approach, in Palestinian high-schools, held in high esteem by all those who know him in the West Bank.

He was first abducted in August 2006, when he was Minister of Education in the 11th Palestinian government, sent back to his family after 40 days of detention, and re-abducted on May 24th, 2007, without any more “motives” than in 2006.

A campaign for his liberation was then launched, with the support of 22 Nobel Laureates and 18 Members of the European Parliament. Dr Al Shaer was to be set free after 54 days of arbitrary detention, and his arrest was recognized as a “mistake” in Israel.

8 Nobel Peace Laureates are presently engaged in the Open the Doors Campaign (Bishop Belo, Shirin Ebadi, John Hume, Mairead Maguire, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Archbishop Tutu, Betty Williams, Jody Williams) and 36 other Nobel Laureates (among whom Professor Baruj Benacerraf, Torsten Wiesel, Roald Hoffmann, Robert Huber, Sir Harold Kroto, Yuan T. Lee, Zhores Alferov, Brian Josephson, Jack Steinberger, James Mirrlees, Elfriede Jelinek, Wole Soyinka), with 162 Members of the European Parliament too.

This Campaign, for the end of the Gaza siege, of all war acts, and the immediate liberation of prisoners (among them Sergeant Shalit) according to legal and humanitarian criteria, revolves around one fundamental principle “Human beings are not bargaining chips”, a principle historically rooted into Articles 1, 2, 3 and 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948):

1    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

2   Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

3   Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

As well as Articles of the European Convention of Human Rights (adopted by the European Council in 1950):

Right to freedom and security

Right to a fair trial

Legality of sentences

Don’t these principles apply to Israel and the Palestinian territories?

The Open the Doors Campaign is supported, notably, by former President of the European Parliament, Mrs Nicole Fontaine, Vice-Presidents Luigi Cocilovo, Miguel Angel Martinez, Gérard Onesta, Luisa Morgantini, Diana Wallis, as well as :

from Sweden : Jan Andersson, Göran Färm, Anna Hedh, Jens Holm, Maria Robsahm, Carl Schlyter, Inger Segelström, Eva-Britt Svensson, Åsa Westlund, Anders Wijkman

from Finland : Satu Hassi, Piia-Noora Kauppi, Reino Paasilinna, Sirpa Pietikaïnen,

from Latvia : former PM Guntars Krasts, Tatjana Zdanoka

from Estonia : Toomas Savi

from Lithuania : Jolanta Dičkuté, Gintaras Didžiokas, Eugenijus Gentvilas, Eugenijus Maldeikis, Justas Vincas Paleckis, Aloyzas Sakalas

as well as General Morillon, Harlem Désir, Elisabeth Morin, Margie Sudre, Francis Wurtz (France), Véronique de Keyser (Belgium),  Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Germany),  and authors Yasmina Khadra, Noam Chomsky, David Grossman, Michel Rocard (former French PM).

For the Open the Doors Call and the full list, check www.peacelines.org

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