Date: 29 / 04 / 2009 Time: 12:54
Bethlehem – Ma’an – On Friday, 1 May, Palestinian Nael Barghouthi will become the world’s record-holder as the longest-held political prisoner.
Barghouthi will have completed more than 31 years in Israeli custody by May, said Abd An-Nasser Farawna, a Palestinian specialist in prisoners affairs. On Friday, Barghouthi will break the Guinness World Record, which is currently held by Sa’id Al-Ataba, a Palestinian who was also in Israeli custody.
According to Farawna, Barghouthi was detained on 4 April 1978. He became the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner after his fellow prisoner, Sa’id Al-Ataba, was released on 25 August 2008 after efforts made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Al-Ataba spent 31 years and 26 days in Israeli custody.
Barghouthi was born in 1957 in Ramallah in the central West Bank. He was detained on 4 April 1978 at the age of 21, and an Israeli military court later sentenced him to life imprisonment. He has already been in prison ten years longer than he was free.