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Stay Human – Gaza commemorates Vittorio Arrigoni

Stay Human – Gaza commemorates Vittorio Arrigoni

By Julie Webb-Pullman
Photo of seaport by Yousef Al-Helou, Freelance Journalist

Click for larger image

Stay Human – Gaza commemorates Vittorio Arrigoni

A year ago today, on April 15, Italian activist and writer Vittorio Arrigoni, known as “Vik,” was murdered in Gaza. Over the past week, several events have commemorated his death, from the dedication of Beit Hanoun’s weekly demonstration to his memory, an event at the Gaza Seaport, and the throwing of flowers into the sea from the boats of fishermen he used to accompany.

Vik was in Gaza as an activist with the International Solidarity Movement when the Israeli "Cast Lead" offensive took place in 2008, killing over 1400 people in 20 days. He reported from horrific scenes of carnage, where he assisted emergency services and earned the gratitude and respect of all of Gaza. He was subsequently recognised by the Gazan government for his dedication under fire with the awarding of Palestinian citizenship.

He went on to become the most widely-broadcast – and authoritative – western voice from Gaza, and in 2010 published a book titled “Stay human,” named after the concluding sentence of his blogs and articles.

The 36-year-old was abducted by Salafists in Gaza City demanding the release of several prisoners, however Arrigoni was killed several hours before the deadline expired.

The trial of his alleged killers has yet to conclude, the proceedings being slowed by failure of witnesses to appear, and various legal obstacles. However, a local lawyer with over twenty years experience in Europe and in Gaza, assured me that the legal process is beyond reproach, and that no effort is being spared to ensure that the law is applied ‘to the letter.’

“The media, as well as human rights organisations, are putting this case under the microscope, so the authorities are determined that everything occurs precisely, and as it should,” he said.

The next hearing for the accused is slated for 14 May 2012.


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