[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop Desmond Tutu has endorsed the nomination of Palestinian political prisoner, Marwan Barghouthi, for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In the nomination letter sent by the Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, he said, “I decided to support this campaign alongside seven other Nobel Peace Prize laureates as a reflection of our belief that freedom was the only path to peace… I hope the Nobel Committee will take a bold decision bringing us closer to the day this holy land, charged with unique symbolic value, can stop being a living testimony of injustice and impunity, occupation and apartheid, and can finally be a beacon of freedom, hope and peace.”
Tutu was a key player in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and was also the first black South African Archbishop of Cape Town and primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
In 1984, he received a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to help bridge the chasm between black and white Anglicans in South Africa. He was a principal mediator and conciliator in the transition to democracy there.
In 1995, South African President Nelson Mandela appointed the archbishop as chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a body set up to bring to light the human rights violations that occurred under apartheid.
Although his vigorous advocacy of social justice has made him a controversial figure in some quarters, today the archbishop is regarded as an elder world statesman with a major role to play in reconciliation.
Tutu is a member of the International High Level Committee of the Campaign for the freedom of Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian prisoners. The campaign was launched from the cell of Nelson Mandela on Robben Island in October 2013, by anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada.