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Israeli authorities transfer political prisoner Marwan Barghouti to undisclosed location

May 26, 2016 3:47 P.M. (Updated: May 26, 2016 8:28 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli prison authorities transferred detained prominent Palestinian parliament member Marwan Barghouti from Israel's Ramon prison to an unidentified location on Thursday, according to Palestinian sources.

Barghouti, a member of Fatah’s central committee, was transferred to Israel’s Ramon prison five days before the most recent transfer to an undisclosed location, according to a statement by the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs.

While Barghouti was held in Ramon, he was reportedly prevented from moving between sections of the prison or communicating with other prisoners.

The committee stated Israeli Prison Services were responsible for arbitrary violations and abuses against the imprisoned politician.

Barghouti, a leading politician in the Fatah party, entered the 15th year of his prison sentence this year.

A spokesperson for the Israeli prison service was not immediately available for comment.

After being detained in 2002, Barghouti was later handed five consecutive life sentences after Israeli authorities charged him with the founding of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a group Israel designates as a “terrorist” organization, and being involved in several murders during the Second Intifada, charges he has consistently denied.

The imprisoned parliament member was politically active for several decades before being elected to parliament in 1996. However, he ascended to prominence as a powerful leader against Israeli military occupation amid the political upheaval of the Second Intifada.

He has remained politically active from behind bars, including assisting in the drafting of the Mecca agreement in 2007, which paved the way for a unity government aimed at ending internal political conflict in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Barghouti remains one of the most popular politicians in Palestine, receiving a wide range of support among various political factions. Many see him as an indispensable component of hope for the possibilities of obtaining a viable peace process and a renewed unification throughout the Palestinian political landscape.

Barghouti also received a PhD in Political Science while imprisoned and has most recently received three nominations for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, including a nomination from leading members of Belgium’s parliament.
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