Expulsion of Human Rights Watch Director

© Olivier Papegnies

Expulsion of Human Rights Watch Director

The Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), which represents 85 international humanitarian, development and human rights organisations, calls on the government of Israel to rescind its decision to deport Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and a US citizen.

The ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court represents another deeply troubling example of the shrinking space for humanitarian and development organisations and human rights defenders in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Proceeding with Shakir’s deportation remains at the discretion of the Government of Israel, in particular with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri.

 

“The Supreme Court ruling, beyond undermining HRW’s work, serves to intimidate other international organisations,” said Thomas Dallal, AIDA director. “It creates a dangerous precedent, whereby criticism of Israeli policies and practices, or calls to uphold international law, provide sufficient grounds for denial of entry or deportation, including for access to Palestinian territory under Israeli occupation.”

 

 

AIDA calls on the international community to condemn this decision by the government of Israel and to urgently intervene on behalf of Omar Shakir and Human Rights Watch, as well as the wider humanitarian, development, and human rights community.

 

Third states and intergovernmental organisations should clearly convey to Israel the imperative nature of human rights, humanitarian and development work in the oPt and ensure the unimpeded delivery of assistance and protection to people in need.

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