Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian people’

Michael Sfardjan: Israel’s Human Rights Activists Aren’t Traitors

January 5, 2016

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B’Tselem awarded the 2014 Stockholm Human Rights Award

September 14, 2014

The Israeli group of human rights defenders, B’Tselem, has been awarded the 2014 Stockholm Human Rights Award by the International Legal Assistance Consortium, the Swedish Bar Association and the International Bar Association [for more information on the Stockholm Human Rights Award see: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/award/stockholm-human-rights-award].

The press release of 14 September states: “Promoting human rights standards from inside one’s country requires an unwavering willingness to endure criticism from within, regardless of potential repercussions. Maintaining integrity and dignity is at the core of human rights defense. B’Tselem has shown international light on human rights violations in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, providing a voice to victims and calling for accountability. It is commendable that B’Tselem has so tirelessly fought to uphold human rights in an environment where its criticism has not always been welcome.” 

via BTselem awarded the 2014 Stockholm Human Rights Award | BTselem.

Israel urged to drop charges against Palestinian lawyer Anas Barghouti and other HRDs in Addameer

October 29, 2013

Amnesty International – among a plethora of NGOs – urges Israel to drop charges against Palestinian lawyer Anas Barghouti (24 October 2013). It says that Israeli must drop all charges against the Palestinian human rights lawyer released on bail last night. Anas Barghouti, a lawyer with the Addameer Association for Prisoner Support and Human Rights, was released on bail on the orders of a military judge at Ofer Military Court yesterday because confessions from other detainees submitted as evidence failed to prove he is a security threat. Barghouti had been arrested by the Israeli army more than a month ago 15 September, at a checkpoint north of Bethlehem in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Nine days later he was charged with “membership in the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine” – an organisation which Israel has banned – and “leadership of a committee to organise demonstrations”. Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Director Philip Luther said:“The release of Anas Bargouthi is positive news but he should have never been detained and charged in the first place.“ Barghouti’s arrest is part of a pattern of harassment by the Israeli authorities of Palestinian human rights organisations and activists in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, with individuals suffering arbitrary detentions, restrictions on movement, and raids of homes and offices. For example, last December Israeli security forces raided the offices of Addameer and two other Palestinian NGOs in Ramallah, seizing computers, work files and equipment and ransacking the premises. Addameer’s chair, Abdullatif Ghaith, a resident of East Jerusalem, has been banned by Israel’s military from entering other parts of the occupied West Bank or travelling abroad since 2011. Meanwhile, on 23 September, a week after the Bargouthi’s arrest, Israeli forces also arrested Samer Arbid, Addameer’s accountant. He was placed in custody for questioning until 21 October and then given a four-month administrative detention order – a military order without charge or trial which can be extended indefinitely.  Yet another activist from Addameer – Ayman Nasser – was arrested in October last year and charged with offences that included membership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and carrying out activities in support of Palestinian prisoners. He was convicted of these charges a month later and spent a year in prison after a trial by military court, being released earlier this week. In detention Nasser told his lawyer that he had been tortured during interrogation following his arrest. He said he was interrogated for up to 20 hours every day and that during the interrogations he was kept in a stress position on a chair with his hands tied behind his back.

via AIUK : Israel must drop charges against Palestinian lawyer Anas Barghouti.

 

Stop the Wall activist Hassan Karajah arrested by Israel

February 5, 2013

karajah1

The Palestinian News Network on 4 February 2013 reported that in the early hours of Wednesday 23rd January 2013, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested Hassan Yasser Karajeh, a 29 year old youth activist in the Stop the Wall Campaign, violently breaking into his home in the West Bank village of Safa, west of Ramallah. Since then he is in interrogation without access to his lawyer or family. He is part of a new generation of active Human Rights Defenders. ‘Stop the Wall‘ asks solidarity groups, social movements, human rights organizations and concerned citizens to act together to free Hassan Karajah and stop the repression of human rights defenders in Palestine.

Israeli NGOs condemn raid on offices of Palestinian colleagues

December 13, 2012

Yesterday, 12 December 2012, the undersigned Israel based organizations protest the aggressive treatment of three Palestinian civil society organizations by the Israeli military and demand that all property seized be restored and that the work of civil society organizations—and especially those comprised of human rights defenders – be protected and respected.

Early morning yesterday, 11 December 2012, just a few hours after the end of International Human Rights Day, the Israeli military entered the offices of three Palestinian organizations in Ramallah: Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights; Union of Palestinian Women’s Committee and the Palestinian NGO Network. The organizations were not provided with any explanation for the search or shown a search warrant and their staff members were not present during the search. The soldiers caused extensive damage to some of the offices and confiscated computers, hard discs, cameras and other essential equipment.

Addameer office after the raid. Photo: Iyad Hadad, B'Tselem, 11 Dec. 2012

Addameer office after the raid. Photo: Iyad Hadad, B’Tselem, 11 Dec. 2012

The undersigned organizations emphasize that all individuals have the right to freedom of association, and to be free from arbitrary or unlawful interference in their homes and offices, and to due process of law. It is particularly important that human rights organizations enjoy such rights so that they can protect and ensure the rights of others. A free civic space within which Palestinian individuals are able to organize is critical for the protection of Palestinian’s basic rights. Actions such as those taken by the Israeli military threaten this free civic space and damage the protection Palestinian human rights.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in IsraelThe Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)B’Tselem – The Israeli information center for human rights in the occupied territoriesGisha – Legal Center for Freedom of MovementHamoked – Center for the Defence of the IndividualPhysicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-Israel); The Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI)Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR);Yesh Din

 

http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20121212_military_raid_on_hr_organizations

Palestinian HRD Nariman Tamimi speaks out on repression of peaceful protest in AI video

November 5, 2012

In Greece there is a frequently heard ‘complaint’ that international human rights groups – in particular AI – have the same agenda as the USA. At a recent meeting with friends in Chania, AI’s position on Pussy Riot was quoted as evidence.

I countered by pointing out that AI on many occasions has taken a stand that seems to go against US policy, from the death penalty to Guantanamo Bay and the Israeli occupied territories. A recent video referred to here makes that clear again in the case of Israel. Perhaps even more shocking are some of the comments that seems to confirm the existence of an orchestrated response [by whom?] to equal any criticism of Israel to anti-Semitism.

Every Friday since December 2009 residents of al-Nabi Saleh and solidarity activists gather around noon in the village centre and march peacefully towards the spring. They have been met repeatedly with unnecessary and excessive force by the Israeli army including the use of stun grenades, pepper spray, batons and guns. Demonstrations are dispersed as soon as they begin and are usually not allowed to reach the spring. The Israeli army raids the village regularly, usually during the night, and conducts house searches and arrests, including the arrest of children under the age of 15.

Israeli military laws in place in the West Bank impose sweeping and arbitrary restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, requiring people to obtain advance permission from the Israeli military for any proposed gathering of 10 or more persons “for a political purpose of for a matter that could be interpreted as political”.  Nariman Tamimi told Amnesty International that in al-Nabi Saleh and all areas where there is popular resistance, police use extreme violence, noting that “there is nothing [to the protests] except that you chant and express your opinion.” As one of the organizers of the al-Nabi Salneh protests and a coordinator of the village’s popular committee, Bassem Tamimi and his family have been the target of harsh treatment by the Israeli army.  For more see the excellent film:

AI video on Palestinian protest