Israel/OPT: Smear campaign against Al-Haq & Shawan Jabarin

26/07/2019
Urgent Appeal

ISR 001 / 0719 / OBS 064
Smearing campaign / Defamation/
Death threats
Israel / Occupied Palestinian Territory
July 26, 2019

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your intervention in the following situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by Al-Haq about the smearing campaign and death threats against Mr. Shawan Jabarin, General Director of the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq [1], and Secretary General of FIDH. Mr. Shawan Jabarin was an early activist in the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: he is committed to a just peace, the joint struggle for human rights in Palestine and Israel, and the end of the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories.

According to the information received, on July 15, 2019, 4IL – a State-owned media relaying views of the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs- published an article [2] accusing Mr. Shawan Jabarin of “terrorism”, which led to defamatory comments and death threats against him on its public platforms. The publication of this article was initiated while Al-Haq marked its 40th anniversary, an event which brought together dozens of international diplomatic representatives, academics, international organisations and representatives from the United Nations and European Union bodies. Following the event, 4IL platform’s online visitors launched into an incitement to violence and hate speech against Al-Haq, including calling for Mr. Shawan Jabarin’s killing [3]. These comments were not filtered nor regulated by 4IL moderators.

The Observatory recalls that this is only the latest in a larger-scale smearing campaign against Al-Haq and other Palestinian civil society organisations in Israel and the OPT, designed to silence and intimidate Palestinian and other human rights organisations. For example, on the homepage of 4IL website, a picture [4] shows Mr. Shawan Jabarin with the comment « Director of the Al-Haq boycott NGO and recruited terrorist for the PFLP [5] ».

The Observatory condems the smearing campaign and death threats against Mr. Shawan Jabari and calls on the Israeli authorities to immediately end any acts of harassment against him, Al-Haq and all the human rights defenders in Israel and the OPT, and to ensure human rights defenders in Israel and the OPT are able to carry out their legitimate and peaceful human rights work without fear of hindrance or reprisals.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Israel urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological wellbeing of Mr. Shawan Jabarin as well as that of all human rights defenders in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

ii. Put an end to all acts of harassment against Mr. Shawan Jabarin, Al-Haq members, and all human rights defenders in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

iii. Comply with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular its Articles 1 and 12.2;

iv. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory in accordance with international human rights instruments and standards.

Addresses:

• Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel - Minister of Foreign Affairs; Fax: + 972 267 055 55 / 972-2-5303367; Email: b.netanyahu@pmo.gov.il, pm_eng@pmo.gov.il
• Mr. Avigdor Liberman, Minister of Defense; Fax: +972 369 169 40; Email: aliberman@knesset.gov.il
• Ms. Ayelet Shaked, Minister of Justice; Fax: +972 262 886 18; E-mail: sar@justice.gov.il
• Mr. Gilad Menashe Erdan, Minister of Strategic Affairs ; Fax : 02-6753982 ; E-mail :
gerdan@knesset.gov.il
• Mr. Shai Nitzan, State Attorney; Email: state-attorney@justice.gov.il
• H.E. Ambassador Ms. Aviva Raz Shechter, Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 716 05 55. Email: mission-israel@geneva.mfa.gov.il
• H.E. Ambassador Simona Frankel; Embassy of Israel in Belgium and Luxembourg, Fax: +32 2 373.56.17; Email: web@brussels.mfa.gov.il

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Israel in your respective countries.

***
Paris-Geneva, July 26, 2019

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu , the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
• E-mail: appeals@fidh-omct.org
• Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
• Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

[1] Al-Haq is a Palestinian human rights organisation based in Ramallah, West Bank.
[2] See : https://4il.org.il/he/2019/07/15/%D7%9E%D7%97%D7%91%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%9D-%D7%91%D7%97%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%90%D7%A8%D7%92%D7%95%D7%9F-%D7%94%D7%97%D7%A8%D7%9D-%D7%94%D7%A4%D7%9C%D7%A1%D7%98%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%99-%D7%90%D7%9C/?fbclid=IwAR3H09zSQhO8qd8-29lQaUFAVAchd83nmAItNqRCpP9WzEdZtJGdx8zsxtU
[3] Examples include: “When do we put a bullet in the head?”, “Why do such people still breathe?”, “Why has he not been liquidated?”
[4] See : https://4il.org.il/
[5] Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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