Agenda Item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural right
Statement by: Kayan - Feminist Organization and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ
1 July 2019
We would like to draw the attention of the Council to the treatment of Human Rights Defenders by Israel, that has deteriorated steadily over the years and has now reached an alarmingly serious point.
Beyond the most popular cases that receive the attention of the international community, there are several others aimed at silencing criticism and preventing Human Rights Defenders from performing their work. A clear example is Israel’s steady denial of entry permits for foreign nationals working as Human Rights Defenders in the West Bank and the procedures adopted against them. This is clearly aimed at frightening, deterring and dissuading individuals and groups from defending and promoting human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Human Rights Defenders are also subjected to serious criminalization by Israel through the prohibition of peaceful protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and arbitrary arrests often based on false criminal charges. We maintain that these actions demonstrate a systematic policy perpetrated by Israel aimed at designating as “public enemies” those that oppose the occupation and associated human rights violations.
Deflecting the attacks against Human Rights Defenders is a challenge to the international community. Kayan - Feminist Organization and Geneva International Centre for Justice urge this Council to take urgent action against Israel in the aim of ensuring the implementation of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.