Editor’s Note: On Tuesday, Israel revoked the work permit of Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine Director, Omar Shakir. Tamara Nasser reported for Electronic Intifada that “Israel’s strategic affairs ministry said the decision was based on Shakir’s support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, but Shakir said the ‘real aim is to muzzle dissent.'”
Human Rights Groups in response to government’s decision to deport HRW official: There’s no hiding the occupation
Fifteen Israeli human rights organization respond today to the Israeli government’s decision to deport Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch.
Israel’s decision to deport a Human Rights Watch official, and the growing list of people to whom it denies entry for criticizing of the occupation, place Israel squarely on a list of disreputable states. The governments of such states try to control people’s minds, thoughts and actions, instead of safeguarding people’s freedom of speech, and their freedom to act and protest government policies. Particularly worrying is the fact that Israeli authorities compile “personal dossiers” on foreign nationals because of things they have said or for having taken part in legitimate political activities.
Israel is trying to keep both its own citizens and the world from seeing what it is doing. Neither closing the borders to human rights groups and activists nor other Israeli measures against organizations critical of the occupation will deter us – or them – from reporting human rights violations in areas under Israeli control.
Rather than trying to hide the occupation from the world – end the occupation.
Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
Breaking the Silence
Coalition of Women for Peace
Hamoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual
Human Rights Defenders Fund
Physicians for Human Rights – Israel
Rabbis for Human Rights
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel