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Israel/OPT: Travel ban on human rights defender Mr Abdullatif Ghaith
Prominent Palestinian human rights defender Mr Abdullatif Ghaith received a travel ban on 3 August 2012. Abdullatif Ghaith, a 71-year-old East Jerusalem resident, is one of the founders of Addameer, an institution which defends prisoners’ rights, based in Ramallah.
According to a joint statement released by Palestinian human rights organisations, on 2 August 2012, Abdullatif Ghaith received a call from Israeli Intelligence Community officials requesting that he present himself immediately to Moskobiyyeh Interrogation Centre in Jerusalem.
Upon his arrival at the centre the following day, he was instructed to sign an order banning him from travelling abroad. The ban, which was signed by Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai, will be in effect until 31 January 2013. The order alleges that the human rights defender constitutes a threat to “state security”, even though there was no evidence presented to support such a claim.
Existing Travel Ban
Moreover, Abdullatif Ghaith is currently banned from entering the West Bank. This existing order originally came into effect in 10 October 2011 for a duration of six months and it was then extended for an additional six months in April 2012.
Furthermore, since becoming Chairperson of Addameer, Abdullatif Ghaith has been held in administrative detention without charge or trial in Israeli prisons on three separate occasions, each of which lasted six months. He was last detained in this manner from June 2004 to January 2005.
Targeting of HRDs in the Region
The travel ban imposed on Abdullatif Ghaith is part of the continued and systematic targeting of human rights defenders in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in an attempt to restrict their peaceful and legitimate human rights work. This recurring targeting is evidenced by the travel ban imposed on Mr Shawan Jabarin, which has negatively affected his legitimate human rights work. Apart from one trip under very strict conditions to Geneva to meet a UN independent expert in February 2012, the human rights defender has been unable to travel outside the West Bank since 2006. For further information, please see our previous appeal and update on Shawan Jabarin: http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/16756 and http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/17513.
Front Line Defenders is concerned about the travel ban imposed on Abdullatif Ghaith and believes that it is directly related to his legitimate human rights work.