(10 November 2016) PHROC Draws Attention to the Repression of Human Rights Defenders in Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the OPT

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This week, the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) submitted information to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Palestinian Territory Occupied Since 1967 for his upcoming report to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017. The submission highlights the repressive environment within which human rights defenders (HRDs) work in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including East Jerusalem. In the OPT, HRDs carrying out their day-to-day work are subjected to highly oppressive measures imposed by Israel’s illegal regime of occupation and the closure/blockade of Gaza, including severe restrictions on freedom of movement, association and assembly, travel bans, concerted efforts to discredit and criminalize their work, an escalation of verbal threats and physical violence, incarceration under military and administrative orders, and a lack of access to any channels for effective remedy.

The submission provides details on specific violations of the rights of staff working for Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Addameer - Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling as well as field researchers working with civil society groups, advocates of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (who have been subjected to serious verbal threats alluding to violence and deprivation of basic rights made by Israeli government ministers), media correspondents and aid workers in Gaza. However, the cases noted by PHROC are not isolated, instead standing only as examples of the types of harassment and intimidation to which HRDs working in the OPT are systematically subjected.

In response to the realities faced by Palestinian human rights defenders, PHROC urges the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the OPT to:

The submission can be read here.