Prominent Palestinian human rights campaigner dies

The family announced his death on Facebook early today. Sarraj was born in British-ruled Palestine in 1944. His family fled to the Gaza Strip four years later during the war over Israel`s creation.

PTI| Updated: Dec 18, 2013, 16:29 PM IST

Gaza City: Relatives say Dr. Eyad Sarraj, a Gaza psychiatrist and prominent Palestinian human rights campaigner, has died after a long battle with leukemia.

He was 69.

The family announced his death on Facebook early today. Sarraj was born in British-ruled Palestine in 1944. His family fled to the Gaza Strip four years later during the war over Israel`s creation.

Trained in Egypt and Britain, Sarraj established a community mental health program in Gaza in 1990 and became a human rights defender. In that role, he took on both Israel and the Palestinian self-rule government.
His biography says he was briefly jailed by both.
Sarraj won international recognition, including the Olof Palme Prize awarded by Sweden`s labor movement.

Sarraj is survived by his wife and three sons. Funeral arrangements are pending.