Decision to expel HRW country director exposes growing intolerance of criticism

  • Decision to expel HRW country director exposes growing intolerance of criticism

Decision to expel HRW country director exposes growing intolerance of criticism

HRW has written several critical reports about Israel's military policies the Palestinian territories.

In April, a French mayor was denied entry to the West Bank by Israeli authorities because of his support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Interior Minister Arye Dery said information collected on Shakir indicated he was active in BDS.

Israel's current government - a coalition of right-wing and far-right nationalist parties - has been accused of putting pressure on both global and local rights organisations.

Contrary to HRW's claim that "neither Human Rights Watch nor its representative, Shakir, promotes boycotts of Israel", that is exactly what Shakir has done for years.

Breaking: Israel has revoked Human Rights Watch's work permit and ordered me deported after compiling a 7-page...

A prominent human rights group accused Israel on Wednesday of attempting to "shut down criticism" of its rights record after its local director was ordered to leave the country within 14 days.

"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 group said neither it nor Shakir supports boycotts and that it would challenge the decision in an Israeli court. Rather, his removal is simply an opportunity for Gilad Erdan-the head of make-work "Strategic Affairs" ministry given to the Likud #2 after he didn't receive a real cabinet post-to pander to the right-wing base by showing up the Israel haters. In 2017, in addition to documenting abuses related to the occupation, Human Rights Watch reviewed Israel's record on women's rights and reported on the incommunicado detention of Israeli citizens Avera Mangistu and Hisham al-Sayed by Hamas, and criticized the Palestinian Authority's draconian cybercrime law that restricts free expression.

Human Rights Watch applied in January 2018 to extend Shakir's work visa, which was due to expire on March 31.

Monday's decision comes within a broader Israeli crackdown on pro-Palestinian activists and foreigners seen as supporting the Palestinian cause.

In the book, though not cited in the Israeli government's dossier, Shakir describes his commitment to human rights in a manner entirely consistent with his future work with Human Rights Watch.