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Marwan Barghouti: Prisoner of Conscience

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On May 20, 2004, Barghouti was convicted of involvement in three terrorist attacks killing five people. Acquitted on 33 other charges, he received five consecutive life sentences plus 40 years. 

A three-judge panel ruled that although he didn't fully control local Brigade leaders and wasn't directly involved, he had "significant influence" over their conduct.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) international organization of parliaments and sovereign states published a legal assessment of his proceedings based on case notes, prosecutorial member and defense team interviews, as well as others with international NGO trial observers.

IPU concluded that:

"From the beginning of the investigations until the final day of the trial, the prosecution put almost as much effort into staging a media event as it did into working on the legal aspects."

Moreover, show trial theatrics and publicity took precedence over Barghouti's legal rights. Numerous international laws were breached. Judicial fairness was denied. The entire process was illegitimate. It elevated him more than ever to prominence.

Justice was clearly denied. Barghouti remains imprisoned. During last October's prisoner swap, he was excluded. So were other Palestinian leaders, including Ahmed Saadat, Ibrahim Hamed, Hasan Salameh, Abdullah Al-Barghouti, Jamal Abu El-Heija, and Abbas Issyd.

Barghouti Indicts Israel

On October 3, 2002, Barghouti indicted Israel on 54 counts, saying:

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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