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Palestinian Intelligence Services must cease political harassment of human rights lawyers

Written declaration No. 769 | Doc. 15754 | 27 June 2023

Ms Laura CASTEL, Spain, UEL ; Ms Sibel ARSLAN, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Margreet De BOER, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Constantinos EFSTATHIOU, Cyprus, SOC ; Ms Sascha FAXE, Denmark, SOC ; Mr Antón GÓMEZ-REINO, Spain, UEL ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr George KATROUGALOS, Greece, UEL ; Mr Kimmo KILJUNEN, Finland, SOC ; Mr Eduard KÖCK, Austria, EPP/CD ; Sir Edward LEIGH, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Arnaldo LOMUTI, Italy, NR ; Mr Didier MARIE, France, SOC ; Ms Maud PETIT, France, ALDE ; Mr Thomas PRINGLE, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Axel SCHÄFER, Germany, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Virendra SHARMA, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Tommy SHEPPARD, United Kingdom, NR ; Mr Krzysztof ŚMISZEK, Poland, SOC ; Ms Petra STIENEN, Netherlands, ALDE

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

The Palestinian Ministry of National Economy's refusal to renew the registration of the Palestinian human rights organisation Lawyers for Justice is a serious breach of international obligations. The decision to freeze the organisation’s registration was based on a request from the Palestinian Intelligence Services under the false claim of having accepted “foreign funding".

in view of the written declaration No. 761 (Doc. 15696), the persecution of Lawyers for Justice and its leader Mohannada Karaje, reflects a broader trend of shrinking space for civil society organisations and further abuse of power by the Palestinian Intelligence Services. Mohannada Karaje leads a group of lawyers who document and provide legal defense to victims of political persecution and torture such as in the case of Nizar Banat.

In view of the recent release of Hussein and Mohamed Banat, witnesses to the political killing of Nizar Banat, we demand an end to the harassment of lawyers Gandhi Al-Rubaie, Mohannad Karaje and Ghassan Banat who are seeking justice at the International Criminal Court.

We urgently call for clarification on the distribution and monitoring of financial aid by the European Union to the Palestinian Authority, ensuring that no support is provided to the intelligence services as long as human rights are not respected.