Date: 26 May 2008
PCHR Director Conducts International Tour
From 15-20 May 2008, PCHR’s Director, Raji Sourani, visited London and Paris upon invitation from Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP) and the French NGO’s Network. During his visit, Sourani gave two keynote speeches on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) in general and the Gaza Strip in particular. He also held several meetings with various European, Arab, and Palestinian politicians and human rights activists.
From 15-17 May, MAP invited Sourani to London, where on 16 May, he addressed 300 persons in MAP’s annual charity dinner. Baroness Helena Kennedy and former US Secretary of State James Baker addressed the event. In addition, Sourani met former Palestinian Ambassador to London, Afif Safia, and current Ambassador Manuel Hasasian, as well as other Palestinian officials and academics.
On 17 May, the French NGO’s Network in Support of the Palestinian Issue invited Sourani to address the National Campaign for Peace in Palestine 2008 in France. Ambassador Laila Shahid (Palestinian ambassador to Brussels) and Ambassador Hind Khouri (Palestinian ambassador to Paris), Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, and Palestinian parliament member Ziad Abu Amr addressed the event. Approximately 5000 participants from all over France attended, including a large number of officials, parliament members, ambassadors, municipality officials, civil society activists, and intellectuals attended the event. At the end of the event, French intellectuals, civil society activists, and politicians signed a petition for Palestine. And it is noted that similar activities are planned throughout France in the near future.
In Paris, Sourani also visited the FIDH and met its President Suheir Bin El-Hasan, as well as Idris El-Yazmi, Khamis Rashmawi, and Patrick Bodowan to discuss the human rights situation in the OPT, and especially in the Gaza Strip.