| Marwan Barghouthi: Imprisoned Palestinian leader mourns Mandela’s death!

Imprisoned Palestinian leader mourns Nelson Mandela’s death ~  Redress Information & Analysis.

Message from Marwan Barghouthi, imprisoned Palestinian resistance leader, following the announcement of Nelson Mandela’s death.

During the long years of my own struggle, I had the occasion to think many times of you, dear Nelson Mandela. Even more since my arrest in 2002. I think of a man who spent 27 years in a prison cell, only to demonstrate that freedom was within him before becoming a reality his people could enjoy. I think of his capacity to defy oppression and apartheid, but also to defy hatred and to choose justice over vengeance.

Marwan Barghouti

Marwan Barghouti – inspired by Nelson Mandela’s struggle for freedom.

How many times did you doubt the outcome of this struggle? How many times did you ask yourself if justice will prevail? How many times did you wonder why is the world so silent? How many times did you wonder whether your enemy could ever become your partner? At the end, your will proved unbreakable, making your name one of the most shining names of freedom.

You are much more than an inspiration. You must have known, the day you came out of prison, that you were not only writing history, but contributing to the triumph of light over darkness, and yet you remained humble. And you carried a promise far beyond the limits of your country’s borders, a promise that oppression and injustice will be vanquished, paving the way to freedom and peace. In my prison cell, I remind myself daily of this quest, and all sacrifices become bearable by the sole prospect that one day the Palestinian people will also be able to enjoy freedom, return and independence, and this land will finally enjoy peace.

You became an icon to allow your cause to shine and to impose itself on the international stage. Universality to counter isolation. You became a symbol around which all those who believe in the universal values that found your struggle could rally, mobilize and act. Unity is the law of victory for oppressed people. The tiny cell and the hours of forced labour, the solitude and the darkness, did not prevent you from seeing the horizon and sharing your vision. Your country has become a lighthouse and we, as Palestinians, are setting sails to reach its shores.

You said: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” And from within my prison cell, I tell you our freedom seems possible because you reached yours. Apartheid did not prevail in South Africa, and apartheid shall not prevail in Palestine. We had the great privilege to welcome in Palestine a few months ago, your comrade and companion in struggle Ahmed Kathrada, who launched, following this visit, the International Campaign for the Freedom of Palestinian Prisoners from your own cell, where an important part of universal history was shaped, demonstrating that the ties between our struggles are everlasting.

Your capacity to be a unifying figure, and to lead from within the prison cell, and to be entrusted with the future of your people while being deprived of your ability to choose your own, are the marks of a great and exceptional leader and of a truly historical figure. I salute the freedom fighter and the peace negotiator and maker, the military commander and the inspirer of peaceful resistance, the relentless militant and the statesman.

You have dedicated your life to ensure freedom and dignity, justice and reconciliation, peace and coexistence can prevail. Many now honour your struggle in their speeches. In Palestine, we promise to pursue the quest for our common values, and to honour your struggle not only through words, but by dedicating our lives to the same goals. Freedom dear Madiba, shall prevail, and you contributed tremendously in making this belief a certainty.

Rest in Peace, and may God bless your unconquerable soul.

Marwan Barghouthi
Hadarim prison
Cell No.28



| Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro found hanged in prison cell!

Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro found hanged in prison cell ~ Kim Palmer, CLEVELAND, Reuters, Yahoo News.

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Ariel Castro, sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping, rape and beatings of three Cleveland women he held captive in his house for a decade, was found hanged in his prison cell late Tuesday, a state corrections official said.

The former school bus driver, who pleaded guilty to 937 offenses in July, was under protective custody and isolated from other inmates at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient. Prison staff found him hanged at about 9:20 p.m. CDT on Tuesday (0220 GMT, Wednesday), officials said.


File photo of Ariel Castro, 53, sitting in the courtroom during his sentencing for kidnapping, rape and murder in Cleveland

.Ariel Castro, 53, sits in the courtroom during his sentencing for kidnapping, rape and murder in Cleveland, …

A review of the incident, which came a month after a death row prisoner was found hanged at another Ohio prison, was underway.

Castro was sentenced on August 1 to life plus 1,000 years in prison without the possibility of parole for abducting the three women and keeping them imprisoned in the dungeon-like confines of his house, where they were starved, beaten and sexually assaulted for about a decade.

The house where the three were held, bound with chains and ropes for periods of time, has been torn down.

Police found a suicide note and confession written by Castro when they searched his home in May. His lawyer said on Wednesday that prison authorities repeatedly denied him a psychologist.

“We requested the opportunity for our retained independent psychologist to see and evaluate Mr. Castro in both the county jail and in the prison reception center, where he was being held. We were denied and thwarted in each of our attempts by the state and county,” defense attorney Jaye Schlachet told Reuters.

After prison medical personnel tried to resuscitate him, Castro, 53, was transferred to a hospital and pronounced dead about 90 minutes later, officials said.

“If the state of Ohio is going to incarcerate an individual they should protect that individual from themselves and others,” Schlachet said.

“This is not good for the system and not good for the families,” the lawyer said.

Castro was taken into custody in May, just after Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, were freed with assistance from neighbors who heard Berry’s cries for help.

Also rescued was Berry’s 6-year-old daughter, fathered by Castro and born during her mother’s captivity.

Castro pleaded guilty in July to kidnapping, rape, felonious assault and aggravated murder under a fetal homicide law for the forcible miscarriage of one of his three victims.

His plea deal with prosecutors spared Castro a possible death penalty for murder.

Castro had been incarcerated since August 5 at the Correctional Reception Center, a prison processing facility outside Columbus, the state capital, about 150 miles southeast of Cleveland.

He was to remain there while undergoing mental and physical evaluation before being transferred to a permanent lockup, prison officials said.


The Ohio prisons are at 130 percent capacity, a prison watchdog group says, and the Castro hanging closely follows two other high-profile deaths.

An Ohio death row inmate, Billy Slagle, 44, was found hanged in his prison cell at another Ohio prison on August 4, three days before he was due to be executed for the 1987 murder of a babysitter. An investigation into Slagle’s death has been completed and was due to be publicly released, Rehabilitation and Correction Department spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said.

James Oglesby, 32, who was serving a life sentence for aggravated murder and kidnapping, died August 22 at a Toledo hospital after being beaten with baseball bats in the recreation yard at Toledo Correctional Institution. He became the third man killed in the past year in the overcrowded state system.

Ohio’s prison system had one confirmed homicide in 2010, two in 2011 and three in 2012, according to Joanna Saul, executive director of the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee, a state legislative group that monitors prisons.

(Editing by Steve Gorman, Daniel Trotta and Jeffrey Benkoe)