Take action and send emails to both US and EU leaders. Demand they pressure Israel to rescind the designation
On 15 March 2022, Al-Haq on behalf of partner organizations, delivered an oral statement under item 3, the interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Ms. Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, as part of its engagement with the Human Rights Council 49th session. The statement addressed the issue of Israel’s designation of six leading Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations as “terrorist organizations” under its Counter-Terrorism Law of 2016, highlighting the serious effects of such criminalization based on secret evidence. The statement called on Ms. Special Rapporteur to announce Israel’s counter-terrorism law of 2016 as incompatible with basic human rights standards, and on States to urge Israel to revoke its baseless designations and recognize such attack as means to maintain Israel’s apartheid regime over the Palestinian people as a whole.
The oral statement read as follows:
49th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Joint Oral Intervention
Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man
NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council
Date: 14 March 2022
Israel’s designation of the six leading Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations
Mr. President, Ms. Special Rapporteur,
For decades, Israel has orchestrated a systematic smear campaign against Palestinian human rights defenders and organizations to intimidate, undermine and delegitimize their work in defending and promoting Palestinian people’s rights, and calling for justice and accountability for Israeli crimes, including the crime of apartheid.
Israel’s latest attack was the designation of six leading Palestinian human rights organizations as “terrorist organizations” under Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Law of 2016, placing their staff, and partners at risk of criminal charges and defunding their sources. Some members of these organizations have also been subjected to a campaign of spyware surveillance on their devices by the Pegasus spyware of the Israeli NSO Group, including human rights defender and lawyer Salah Hammouri, who has been recently put on administrative detention.
Israel’s counter-terrorism law, which is unlawfully applied to the occupied Palestinian territory, allows issuing such designations based on “secret evidence,” which the Israeli authorities can refuse to disclose for “security reasons,” thus violating due process rights.
We call on the Special Rapporteur to announce Israel’s counter-terrorism law of 2016 as incompatible with basic human rights standards.
We further call on member states to:
In response to Al-Haq and partners’ oral statement, Ms. Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism underscored that “civil society are the best of us, they are the ones who protect and insulate our societies from the conditions that produce violence,” and expressed her “deep concern about what appears to be the obliteration of the entirety of Palestinian civil society in the context of frames of counter-terrorism.”
Please see Ms. Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism response statement here (at minute 1:56:49) or in the video below which we have uploaded on our youtube channel.
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