Palestinian Fatah Central Committee member and lawmaker, Marwan Barghouthi, yesterday entered his 19th year in Israeli jails on charges of leading the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades; the armed wing of the Fatah movement.
The Palestinian Prisoners' Club said in a report that Barghouthi along with thousands of Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli prisons face the "danger of prison and a deadly pandemic".
According to the report, 60-year-old Barghouthi from Kobar village near Ramallah was the first member of Fatah's Central Committee and the first lawmaker to be arrested by the Israeli army sentenced to life imprisonment.
Barghouthi was only 15 years old when he was arrested for the first time in 1976. In 1983 he started his education in Birzeit University where he was elected president of the Student Council for three years in a row, and co-founder the Fatah Youth Movement before being arrested and deported in 1986.
In April 1994 he returned to the occupied West Bank after the Oslo Accords were signed between the PLO and Israel. In 1996, he was elected a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).
In April 2002 he was arrested during the Israeli invasion of the West Bank and was subjected to months of torture and he spent more than 1,000 days in solitary confinement.
In 2004, an Israeli court sentenced him to five life terms plus 40 years.
Al-Barghouthi has a PhD in political science from the Institute for Research and Arab Studies of the Arab League.
Over the past few years, he has published a number of books including "1,000 nights in solitary confinement".