Lavinia Moore (SA) writes to US Consul-General Jerusalem re granting visa to Omar Barghouti for US book tour 23Feb11 February 24, 2011

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To the US Consul-General Jerusalem,

I am writing to you regarding the delay in granting a visa to the esteemed Palestinian writer Omar Barghouti which he needs to visit the USA to undertake a speaking tour in order to promote his book “Boycott, Divestment, Sanction: The Struggle for Palestinian Rights.”

Mr Barghouti has a child who is an American citizen. He has previously had a four year visa to visit the USA in the past. That visa has expired and he requires to have it renewed. There seems to be no reason for the delay in granting a visa at this juncture.His book has received much praise from many knowledgeable persons, including the well respected peace activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Tutu.

Writers, of all persons, must have their rights of free speech respected, and for a country that has that right embedded in its Constitution/Bill of Rights not only denies Mr Barghouti the right to be heard but also denies American citizens the right to hear his voice.

I urge you to respect his rights under international law, and respect the principle of free speech which the USA frequently says it upholds, and grant Mr Barghouti his visa without any further delay.

I would be please to receive an email from you informing me that this matter has been favourably resolved.

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