Thursday, 17 December 2009

Peter Tatchell stands down

Sad news yesterday, Peter has decided to stand down as Green candidate for Oxford East. This is the press release:

Tatchell stands down as Green candidate

Brain injuries from Mugabe and Moscow bashings thwart bid to be Oxford East MP

London – 16 December 2009

“It is with great regret and reluctance that I am standing down as the
Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East. My brain injuries
from the Mugabe and Moscow bashings mean that I would not be able to
campaign effectively in the general election or do the duties required
of an MP, if I was elected,” human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell
announced today.

“It would not be right for me to seek election if I could not do the
job of an MP to the high standards that I want and that Oxford East
voters have a right to expect.

“If I was elected, I could manage the parliamentary duties or the
constituency work. But my health is not strong enough for me to do

 “This is huge disappointment and frustration. Oxford East is a target
Green seat. In the county elections in June, the Greens were
neck-and-neck with the Liberal Democrats as the main challenger to
Labour. The European elections saw the Greens win in Oxford East, well
ahead of Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories.

“The brain damage caused by Mugabe’s thugs in Brussels in 2001 and by
neo-Nazis in Moscow in 2007 has been compounded by head injuries in an
accident while I was campaigning in Devon in July. A bus on which I
was travelling swerved and braked sharply. I was thrown forward,
hitting my head on a metal handrail.

“The injuries don’t stop me from campaigning but I am slower, make
more mistakes, get tired easily and take longer to do things. My
memory, concentation, balance and coordination have been adversley
affected. I can’t campaign at the pace I used to.

“I was selected as the Green Party candidate for Oxford East in April
2007. A month later, I was badly beaten around the head by neo-Nazis
during an attempted Gay Pride parade in Moscow.

See here:

“This exacerbated the brain damage caused when I was bashed
unconscious by President Mugabe’s bodyguards in Brussels in 2001,
after attempting to make a citizen’s arrest of the Zimbabwean leader
on charges of torture.

See here:

“Following the Moscow assault, I never rested and recuperated. I
carried on campaigning, with a very heavy schedule of commitments in
Oxford East. After several months, I was severely exhausted. This
stress and exhaustion probably intensified the damage and thwarted my

“I have postponed making this announcement for several months, in the
hope that I might get better and be able to carry on as the Green
candidate. Unfortunately, my condition has not improved. If anything,
it is worse.

“There is, however, a glimmer of hope for the future. The medical
advice is that if I slow down and reduce my workload my condition may
improve in a year or so. On the downside, I am unlikely to ever
recover fully. Some of the damage is probably permanent.

“I don’t regret a thing. Getting a thrashing and brain injuries was
not what I had expected or wanted. But I was aware of the risks.
Taking risks is sometimes necessary, in order to challenge injustice.
My beatings had the positive effect of helping draw international
attention to the violent, repressive nature of the Russian and
Zimbabwean regimes. I’m glad of that.

“My physical inconveniences are nothing by comparison to the far worse
beatings inflicted on human rights defenders in countries like Russia,
Iran, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Columbia, Sudan and Burma. These heroic
activists often end up jailed or dead. I count myself lucky.

“The Oxford Green Party expects to select a new parliamentary
candidate in January. That person will have my wholehearted support. I
intend to campaign with them during the general election.

“I would like to thank members of Oxford Green Party for their immense
kindness, support, and generosity during my two and a half years as
their candidate. It has been a pleasure working with the Oxford Greens
and I wish them future success,” said Mr Tatchell.

Further information: Peter Tatchell 0207 403 1790

-- NOTE: Please do not reply via this automated email system. If you want to respond to this email, or at any time to contact Peter, please email him at his NEW email address - You can follow Peter on Twitter at or join the Peter Tatchell Human Rights Campaign Facebook group at Peter Tatchell is the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East and PETER TATCHELL HUMAN RIGHTS FUND Donations are requested to help Peter Tatchell's campaigns promoting human rights, democracy and global justice. Peter is unpaid and receives no grants. He depends on donations from friends and supporters. Please make cheques payable to: "Peter Tatchell Human Rights Fund". Send to: PTHRF, PO Box 35253, London E1 4YF To download a donation form or a standing order mandate, go to Donations at: For information about Peter Tatchell’s campaigns: _______________________________________________ Discussion mailing list, subscribed as Unsubscribe by sending an email to Members site:

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