OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)- Amnesty International has condemned Israel’s insistence on imposing a travel ban on one of its members, describing a court position in this regard as a reflection of the tight Israeli system of control and the systematic oppression the Palestinians under occupation face on a daily basis.
Responding last Sunday to the position of the Israeli district court in Occupied Jerusalem over the petition to lift the punitive travel ban imposed on Laith Abu Zeyad, Amnesty International’s campaigner on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, Heba Morayef, MENA regional director at Amnesty International, said:
“In devastating news, the court today asked us whether we wanted to withdraw our petition to lift the travel ban against our Amnesty International colleague and friend Laith, indicating that the judge has accepted the Israeli security agency’s position based on the ‘secret information’ which our lawyer was prevented from reviewing and therefore challenging, in clear violation of due process rights. The judge will likely to issue his decision in the next few days and we expect that he will rubber stamp the ban.”
“This is a bitter blow for justice and demonstrates Israel’s complete disregard for the importance to promote human rights. Amnesty International will continue to campaign to lift the travel ban and will consider any further legal options once we have the court’s decision.”
“Today’s hearing demonstrates the Kafkaesque nature of Israeli justice for Palestinians, who are denied fundamental due process, such as the opportunity to effectively challenge the state’s evidence. We call on the Israeli authorities to put an end to this travel ban, which is directly linked to our colleague’s work as a human rights defender and ensure that he and other human rights defenders can continue with their crucial work without fear of reprisals.”
“Palestinians living under occupation are already trapped in a system of control that touches every aspect of their lives and severely limits their movement. This travel ban confines Laith to an even smaller area and puts him in the long list of Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders who have become a target for the authorities.”
“It is a fundamental part of the right to a fair trial that an accused should be able to view the evidence against them. But Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation are stripped of such basic civil and political rights and face systematic oppression on a daily basis, led by the Israeli security agency, [which] in many cases has the last word. Laith’s case illustrates this, as well as the constant risks that human rights defenders take to protect the rights of others.”