Human Rights Watch official’s deportation order comes just over a week after CCR’s Executive Director and Board Chair were both detained and deported
May 8, 2018, New York, NY – In response to the Israeli government ordering the deportation of Human Rights Watch official Omar Shakir, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the statement below. Shakir was a Bertha Justice fellow at CCR 2014–2016.
We condemn Israel’s decision to order the deportation of human rights defender Omar Shakir, a move consistent with the country’s growing efforts to repress human rights activism within Israel and Palestine and its regular denial of entry to Palestinians and those critical of its policies. Compiling a seven-page dossier on a well-respected human rights defender from the U.S. and characterizing his work as “activities intended to harm the State of Israel” is a shocking and unacceptable display from a country that calls itself a democracy. Coming just over a week after Israel deported CCR Executive Director Vince Warren and Board Chair Katherine Franke, Israel’s decision to expel Shakir is another desperate attempt to suppress criticism of the country’s human rights record.
Shakir’s ordered deportation must be seen in the context of the State of Israel’s broader human rights abuses, many of which members of the CCR-led delegation who were able to enter witnessed firsthand last week. It has been 70 years since the mass killing and eviction of Palestinians by the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, 50 years of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and 11 years of its punitive closure of Gaza, whose residents have been shot and killed in nonviolent protests in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Israel continues to expand its West Bank settlements, annex East Jerusalem, and increase its attacks on human rights defenders and incarceration of political prisoners.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.