Petition Closed
Petitioning UEFA President Michel Platini

Secure release of footballer Mahmoud Sarsak held by UEFA member Israel


Israel is to host the U.E.F.A. Under 21s competition in 2013. Yet, Israeli jails house around 4,000 Palestinian political prisoners, more than 300 of them "administrative detainees" held without charge or trial. One of these is a footballer from Gaza, Mahmoud Sarsak, aged 25. He has been imprisoned for nearly three years. No charge, no trial. In desperation, he has been on hunger strike for more than 80 days and is now close to death. He, and all victims of abuse by the Israeli state, need our support.

Éric Cantona is amongst a list of signatories calling on UEFA to take urgent and official action. Please add your name.

Also sign and share with francophones this petition to Michel Platini in French: http://www.change.org/petitions/michel-platini-pr%C3%A9sident-de-l-uefa-agir-pour-sauver-la-vie-de-mahmoud-al-sarsak-footballeur-palestinien

For more background, see 'Palestinian sports community appeal to UEFA – Red Card Israeli Apartheid' http://www.bdsmovement.net/2011/letter-to-platini-7377 

Letter to
UEFA President Michel Platini
I just signed the following petition addressed to: UEFA President Michel Platini.

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We are all shocked at the racist chanting at football matches in Poland and Ukraine where Euro 2012 is being played. Footballing bodies and politicians have been outspoken in their condemnation. Indeed some government officials are boycotting group stage matches in Ukraine because of perceived human rights abuses in that country.

So why are these same groups silent when Israel is to host the U.E.F.A. Under 21s competition in 2013? Racism, human rights abuses and gross violations of international law are daily occurrences in that country.

Israeli government ministers respond to mob attacks on black refugees by denouncing them as 'infiltrators' and calling for them to be imprisoned in military camps.

Israeli jails house around 4,000 Palestinian political prisoners, more than 300 of them "administrative detainees" held without charge or trial. One of these is a footballer from Gaza, Mahmoud Sarsak, aged 25. He has been imprisoned for nearly three years. No charge, no trial. In desperation, he has been on hunger strike for more than 80 days and is now close to death. He, and all victims of abuse by the Israeli state, need our support.

It is time to end Israel's impunity and to insist on the same standards of equality, justice and respect for international law that we demand of other states.'

FULL LIST OF SIGNATORIES, SIGNING IN PERSONAL CAPACITY:

Éric Cantona, former footballer and actor

Noam Chomsky, Professor MIT, USA

Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary

John Dugard, Former Special Rapporteur of UN on Palestine, South Africa

Trevor Griffiths, Writer, UK

Paul Laverty, Screenwriter, UK

Ken Loach, Filmmaker, UK

Michael Mansfield, QC, UK

Miriam Margolyes OBE, Actor, UK

John Pilger, Journalist, author, film maker, Australia

Show Racism the Red Card

Tariq Ramadan, Professor, Oxford University

Ahdaf Soueif, Writer, UK

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Alice Walker

Please also see this petition addressed to you in French: http://www.change.org/petitions/michel-platini-pr%C3%A9sident-de-l-uefa-agir-pour-sauver-la-vie-de-mahmoud-al-sarsak-footballeur-palestinien
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Sincerely,