PNGO Organize Ceremony to Honor Lawyer Raji Sourani for Winning “Alternative Noble Prize”
On Wednesday, 29 January 2014, The Palestinian
Non-Governmental Organization Network (PNGO) organized a ceremony to honor
lawyer Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
(PCHR), for winning the "Alternative Nobel Prize". The ceremony was
held in al-Dirah Hotel in Gaza and was attended by approximately 350 people
including representatives of community-based organizations (CBOs), academics,
ministers and representatives of national and Islamic powers.
Mr. Mohsen Abu Ramadan, Director of PNGO in
Gaza, stated he was proud of PNGO to organize such ceremony as it strongly
coincided with PNGO’s belief in human rights in general. He further stated that
it coincides with the organisation’s commitment to the role of civil society
and the human rights movement in confronting Israeli violations on the one hand
and pushing the wheel of Palestinian democratization on the other.
Abu Ramadan considered this prize as the
harvest of Sourani’s 40-year dedication to human rights issues and defending
Palestinian human rights. Abu Ramadan added that the prize is different from
others and in this case the Alternative Nobel Prize reflects the determination
of nations and its people to obtain their rights and self-determination.
Mr. Khalil Abu Shammalah, Director of al-Dameer
Association for Human Rights and deputy director of PNGO, highlighted the
ceremony was not held to only honor Sourani, but to honor the whole human
rights movement and activists. This ceremony is an opportunity to highlight and
recognise the human rights organizations commitment in conveying their message
of dedicating all their efforts, and sometimes even having to pay with their
lives, for the interest of the people.
He further added that Sourani is not only
director of PCHR, but a figure representing the Palestinian human rights
movement. Dr. Mohammed Fayeq, Director of The National Council for Human Rights,
further contributed to that by stating that Sourani also represents the larger
Arab human rights movement.
Lawyer Sourani thanked those who were
responsible for organizing the ceremony. He stated that “the prize has great
significance as it sends a strong message to the free world to support the
Palestinians. It is a triumph for the agony and hardships experienced by
Palestinians for over a decade. The prize is yet another message to continue
the struggle for the achievement of the Palestinian goals.”
Sourani expressed his sadness on the passing of
Dr. Iyad al-Sarraj and recognized and acknowledged his vast contribution to
Palestinian human rights. “Dr. Iyad al-Sarraj was a great example of
humanity and patriotism and left clear imprints on the work of Palestinian
human rights organizations”.