Vittorio Arrigoni, an outspoken Italian peace activist, was murdered in Gaza on 14 April, after being abducted by an anti-Hamas, al-Qa’eda-inspired group. Arrigoni arrived in Gaza on a Free Gaza Movement siege-busting boat in 2008.
After Arrigoni’s kidnap by a group known as “Tawhid and Jihad”, a video was posted on YouTube showing the 36-year-old, who was working with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM), being tortured and beaten. The group demanded the release of two of its leaders, held by the Hamas regime since March, in exchange for the Italian.
With other activists from Europe and the US, Arrigoni, known to his friends as “Vik”, worked closely with fishermen and farmers in the Gaza Strip.
Arrigoni is the first foreigner known to have been kidnapped in the Gaza Strip since Hamas came to power. “We will continue to work with and live among the Palestinian population as we continue the work which Vik was so committed to,” says the ISM. Arrigoni signed his blog posts: “Stay human, Vik.”
Vittorio Arrigoni wrote for a number of journals including the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto. In 2010, he wrote Gaza: Stay Human, about his experience of the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2009. One of many tributes is at: