Mansur Kardosh was HRA's Chairperson from its establishment in 1988 until his death in November 1998. He spent all of his life defending the cause of the Palestinian people and was untiring in his struggle for justice and human rights. As a result, he suffered arrests and exile, yet he continued to work with dedication and self-sacrifice.
The late Abu Tawfiq, Mansur Kardosh, was born in Nazareth in 1921, and was educated first at the Friends School in Ramallah, and then in Beirut. Following the 1948 Nakbah, he became involved in a number of political activities.
In 1959, he co-founded the El-Ard Movement, which campaigned against the conditions of military rule prevailing over the Palestinian minority. He remained one of the Movement?s leaders until the Israeli Minister of Defence outlawed it in 1966.
In 1975, the late Abu Tawfiq helped to establish the Al-Saut Publishing Association, and subsequently to set up the Friends of Prisoners Association. As its Chairperson for 8 years, he worked tirelessly to defend the rights of Palestinian political prisoners. In the 80s he established the Association for Growth and Development; in 1988, the Arab Association for Human Rights (HRA), and in 1997, he helped establish Adalah. He remained the HRA?s Chairperson until his death.
Mansur Kardosh was a man of high integrity and dedication, who gave of himself generously and courageously. He faced many forms of harassment for his political attitudes and activities, and was regularly arrested and even exiled from Nazareth. He gained his moral stature in his ability to persist, in his unbreakable belief in human rights and justice, and also in his personal qualities. Abu Tawfiq exemplified an attitude of tolerance and compassion, and was to those around him both a teacher and a compass: in honesty, justice and patriotism. He is sorely missed.