Israel expels HRW director


Israel on Monday expelled the Jerusalem-based director of Human Rights Watch (HRW).

“It’s official: Israel has expelled me over my human rights watch advocacy, joining Syria, Egypt and Bahrain in barring me access,” Omar Shakir tweeted.  

On Nov. 5, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Shakir against a decision to deport him and gave him 20 days to leave the country. 

Shakir said that he would be en route to brief six European governments and the European Parliament on “Israel’s systematic repression of Palestinians”.

Israeli authorities accuse Shakir of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which Israel has criminalized. 

The HRW office director, for his part, argues that the decision was politically driven and aimed to silence human rights organizations working in Israel. 

In April, the Jerusalem District Court approved a government decision to cancel the residency visa of Shakir, a U.S. citizen, claiming that he has showed support for the BDS movement. 

The move was the first of its kind since the New York-based HRW began monitoring events in Israel and Palestine three decades ago.
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