UN high commissioner denounced Israeli regime over blacklisting Palestinian rights groups

UN high commissioner denounced Israeli regime over blacklisting Palestinian rights groups

UN high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday denounced Israel’s blacklisting of six Palestinian rights organizations on terror allegations, describing its decision as an attack on human rights defenders, on freedoms of association, opinion and expression, and on the right to public participation.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): UN high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday denounced Israel’s blacklisting of six Palestinian rights organizations on terror allegations, describing its decision as an attack on human rights defenders, on freedoms of association, opinion and expression, and on the right to public participation.

She called for the move to be immediately revoked.

According to a press release issued by the commissioner’s office, the organizations concerned are some of the most reputable human rights and humanitarian groups in the occupied Palestinian territory and for decades have worked closely with the UN.

The UN human rights chief said Israel’s anti-terrorism legislation should not be applied to legitimate human rights and humanitarian aid activities.

"Claiming rights before a UN or other international body is not an act of terrorism, advocating for the rights of women in the occupied Palestinian territory is not terrorism, and providing legal aid to detained Palestinians is not terrorism," Bachelet stated.

"The organizations, which include some of the key partners of the UN Human Rights Office, face far-reaching consequences as a result of this arbitrary decision, as do the people who fund them and work with them,” Bachelet said.

“The crucial work they perform for thousands of Palestinians risks being halted or severely restricted,” she added.

"The designation decisions contravene the right to freedom of association of the individuals affected and more broadly have a chilling effect on human rights defenders and civic space. Any restrictions on the right to freedom of association must meet a strict test of necessity and proportionality," the UN official underlined.

"In addition, these latest developments highlight how problematic Israel's counter-terrorism law is, including its overly broad definition of terrorism, problems of due process and the manner in which it allows evidence to be kept secret," she added.

Last Friday, Israeli war minister Benny Gantz announced that the six Palestinian civil society groups — including highly prominent ones with significant support and oversight from the European Union, the UN and other international bodies — were designated as terror organizations, claiming they were working on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) — a Palestinian resistance faction.

The blacklist consisted of Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, ADDAMEER — Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Bisan Center for Research and Development, al-Haq Organization, Defense for Children International — Palestine, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.





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