The Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) has announced that it brought a Palestinian football player and member of the Palestine national football team to give a talk on Palestinian prisoners in Israel at the European Parliament on April 11th. According to the CEPR announcement:
April 29, 2013 In coordination with the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR), Mahmoud Sarsak – Palestinian football player and member of the Palestine national football team gave a talk in European Parliament on April 11th about the Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. Sarsak spent 3 years in jail under administrative detention, three months on hunger strike while imprisoned without trial in Israel. Sarsak was imprisoned in 9 detention centers and tortured and interrogated for 45 days. He was deprived of food and sleep, kept for a long time in an isolated cell with loud heavy metal music playing for 18 days. When falling asleep he received hot or cold water on his body… « All this for me to confess to things I didn’t do » he said. At the end of his interrogation he was classified as « illegal fighter » – a category that didn’t exist before. For 3 years he didn’t see any lawyer nor family, he couldn’t write and receive letters either.. « For them I was only a number and a number doesn’t have any rights. My number was 1220 » Sarsak concluded. Mahmoud Sarsak is continuing in his efforts to highlight the issue of the Palestinian prisoners at the European political level. Several meetings were organised with the European Parliament to discuss the suffering of the prisoners including the harsh conditions they face inside the occupation prisons.
Read the rest here.
The Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) describes itself as:
…an independent not-for-profit organisation which has been established to promote dialogue and understanding between European, Palestinian and Arab parliamentarians and policy-makers. It seeks a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on justice and the restoration of Palestinian rights in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.
Dr. Arafat Shoukri, the CEPR Executive Director, was at one time the Executive Director of the U.K. based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) which is closely tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. He is also the chairman of the European Campaign To End the Siege in Gaza (ECESG), a group whose telephone numbers and address are the same as the PRC and which has also has extensive ties to Hamas and the UK and Global Muslim Brotherhood. The ECESG was a major sponsor of the abortive second Gaza Flotilla that was intended to aid Hamas-ruled Gaza.
Two of of the CEPR trustees are also part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Anouar Gharbi (aka Anwar al-Gharbi) now serving as Foreign Affairs Adviser of the President of Tunisia, was also a founding member of the ECESG, identified above as close to both the PRC and to the the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, and Mr. Gharbi was one of the coordinators for the 2nd Gaza Flotilla. Mr Gharbi has also been an officer of the Association de Secours Palestinien (ASP) in Switzerland, the Swiss member of the Union of Good (UOG), a coalition of charities headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi which helps to raise funds for Hamas. In addition, Mr. Gharbi is a founding member and former President, now Honorary President of, Droit pour Tous (Rights for All) a Swiss-based NOG that describes itself as a human rights organization but actually functions as a Palestinian advocacy group and isi one of the members of the ECESG.
Mazen Kahel is originally from Gaza and holds a PhD in business management. He has also known to have been the Treasurer of the Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP), the French member of the UOG and which was designated by the US in 2003 as a terrorist entity. CBSP is also considered to be a partner entity of the ASP, the Swiss UOG organization discussed above.
The CEPR appears to operate largely as a pro-Hamas lobbying group at the EU and has accompanied EU lawmakers on trips to Gaza. In March 2013, the CEPR announced it had met with an EU commissioner to discuss a recent mission to Lebanon and Palestinian refugees from Syria. The CEPR announced the same month that was hosting a European parliamentary delegation that would attempt to visit Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli prisons.