November 5, 2019 – In response to today’s decision by Israel’s Supreme Court upholding the order for human rights defender Omar Shakir, of Human Rights Watch, to leave Israel, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
The Israeli court's decision to allow the deportation of human rights defender Omar Shakir because of his advocacy and support for human rights in Israel and Palestine is outrageous, but not shocking. The Israeli government, and now the courts, have increased their attacks on human rights advocates in the hope of silencing criticism of the country's human rights record. But each time advocates for Palestinian rights are silenced or punished, it instead draws more attention to—and multiplies—Israel’s long list of human rights violations. We stand in solidarity with Shakir, Human Rights Watch, and the many other human rights defenders – Palestinian, Israeli, and from around the world – standing up for justice in Palestine.
Israel similarly prohibited Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director Vince Warren and Board Chair Katherine Franke from traveling to Israel and Palestine to meet with impacted communities and advocates, detained the two lawyers for 14 hours, interrogated them about their advocacy for human rights in the Middle East, and deported them. Shakir, Warren, and Franke are among a growing list of human rights activists Israel has subjected to punitive travel restrictions, including Laith Abu Zeyad of Amnesty International and vocal advocates of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. Many Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory are denied the ability to travel by Israeli authorities.
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.