Israeli rights groups rebuke plan to deport Human Rights Watch directo


"I have not called for any form of boycott of Israel during my time at Human Rights Watch and the interior ministry acknowledged this in its letter to which they informed me of their decision to deny an extension to my work visa", Shakir said.

The expulsion order was signed off by Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan.

Israel is expelling a human rights worker from the nation, claiming he is promoting a boycott of the country.

HRW say they will challenge the decision in Israeli court.

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In a written response to the Interior Ministry, Human Rights Watch said it did not promote boycotts of Israel and that Shakir also had not since being hired by the group. "Israel must repeal laws that arbitrarily restrict human rights advocacy, including criticism of human rights violations and breaches of global humanitarian law that it has committed". On April 29, Israeli authorities denied entry to the American human rights lawyers Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and Katherine Franke, chair of CCR's board and a Columbia University professor. Palestinian rights defenders have received anonymous death threatsand have been subject to travel restrictions and even arrest and criminal charges. It monitors rights violations in more than 90 counties across the world, including all 19 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Last month, Human Rights Watch accused Israel of carrying out a "calculated" campaign of killing unarmed Palestinians taking part in the Great March of Return protests in the Gaza Strip. Human Rights Watch maintains direct access to the vast majority of countries it reports on.

In a joint statement the organizations said that "neither closing the borders to human rights groups and activists nor other Israeli measures against organizations critical of the occupation will deter us, or them, from reporting human rights violations in areas under Israeli control".

"With these acts, Israel is trying to censor the truth", it said. An investigative report by Ben Birnbaum-whose work on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would later receive the National Press Club's Award for Diplomatic Correspondence-found that multiple members of HRW's own governing bodies agreed with Bernstein, including Judge Richard Goldstone, no stranger to criticism of Israel. "But it's only the latest among many recent examples of Israel's growing intolerance of those who criticize its human rights record".