From the Editors
[The following statement was issued by the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council on 12 December 2012.]
The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) strongly condemns yesterday morning’s raid by Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) on the office of a number of Palestinian non-governmental organizations in Ramallah.
At about 3am this morning, IOF raided the offices of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the Palestinian NGO Network and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committee. Addameer is a member of the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council.
During these raids, the offices of all three organizations were ransacked, and their computers, files and video equipment were stolen.
From Addameer’s offices four computers, a hard drive, a video camera and business cards of the employees were taken. It remains unclear as to the amount of Addameer files and documentation also taken. Posters of prisoners and hunger strikers were also ripped from the walls and strewn around the office.
The Palestinian NGO Network office was ransacked, though it appears that no equipment was taken. However, it is still unclear whether data was pulled from the server.
During the raid of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committee, located in Qaddoura refugee camp in Ramallah, seven computers were taken, as well as the main servers and a number of cameras. In addition, 3000 NIS (about US$ 790) was stolen.
PHROC is deeply concerned about the targeting of civil society organizations, especially those that work in defense of human rights.
PHROC recognizes this brutal raid as part of the continuous campaign to target and hinder the work of human rights organizations and their supporters, as well as to gather information on the employees of civil society organizations.
In October, Ayman Nasser, a researcher with Addameer, was arrested for his work defending human rights and standing in solidarity with prisoners. To date Ayman remains in Israeli detention. Similarly, during the hunger strikes in 2011 and 2012, Addameer chairperson Abdullatif Ghaith was issued a travel ban preventing him from traveling within the West Bank and abroad.
This most recent IOF attack on civil society organizations is an attempt to silence and threaten human rights initiatives for Palestinians. PHROC calls on the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the International Committee of the Red Cross and international human rights organizations to pressure the Occupying Power to end such attacks and crimes against Palestinian human rights, legal and civil institutions. Palestinian civil society will not be deterred by these continuous attacks and will continue our work as long as human rights are being violated in occupied Palestine territory.
The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council:
Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Association
Aldameer Association for Human Rights
Khalil Abu Shammala
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
Defence for Children International Palestine Section
Ensan Center for Human Rights and Democracy
Hurryyat - Centre for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights
Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights
Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies
Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling
Maha Abu Dayyeh
If you prefer, email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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