Raji Sourani

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Raji Sourani (Arabic: راجي الصوراني, born 31 December 1953 in the Gaza Strip[1]) is a human rights lawyer in the Gaza Strip. He is married and is the father of two children, and lives in the Gaza Strip.

He was an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience[2][3] in 1985 and 1988, member of International Commission of Jurists EXCO and IDAL EXCO, and Vice President of the International Federation of Human Rights. He was a recipient of the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award in 1991, given each year to an individual whose courageous activism is at the heart of the human rights movement and in the spirit of Robert F. Kennedy's vision and legacy.[4] In 1995, he founded the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and is its director.[5]

Sourani was active in the cases of Palestinians representing deportation, and in monitoring the conditions of Israeli prisons and detentions. He remains an unreserved critic of human rights violations occurring on both sides of the conflict.

Sourani was selected for the 2003 Oak Institute for Human Rights Fellowship at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. However, his visa was not approved and he was unable to travel to the United States at that time.[citation needed] Sourani was also denied a permit to exit Gaza to attend a human rights conference in September 2008.[6]

Sourani was co-awarded the Right Livelihood Award on September 26, 2013 for "his unwavering dedication to the rule of law and human rights under exceptionally difficult circumstances."[7] Sourani served “a three-year sentence [1979-1982] imposed by an Israeli court which convicted him of membership in the illegal Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization. He was also denied a US entry visa in 2012. Sourani was imprisoned an additional three times, in 1985 and 1986, and held in administrative detention in 1988.


  1. ^ "Right Livelihood Awards, 'alternative Nobels,' given to US, Congolese, Palestinian, Swiss". Washington Post. September 26, 2013. Archived from the original on September 26, 2013.
  2. ^ "Raji Sourani: Profile". The Guardian. London. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  3. ^ Edith Garwood (6 October 2011). "Palestinian Statehood Bid at UN and Its Implications". Amnesty International. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Robert F Kennedy Center Laureates". Archived from the original on 2014-04-07.
  5. ^ PCHR - About Us - Director ′
  6. ^ PCHR Director Denied Permit to Exit Gaza for International Human Rights Conference
  7. ^ "'Alternative Nobel Prize' awarded for fight against chemical weapons". Deutsche Welle. September 26, 2013.

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