Death threats against Abdullah Al-Khateeb
Palestinian human rights defender Mr Abdullah Al Khateeb has received notice of threats upon his life. The threats coincide with the raid of his residence in the Yarmouk refugee camp, 8 kilometers from Southern Damascus, by Islamist State (IS) militias on 1 April 2015.
Abdullah Al-Khateeb is a founding member of the Palestinian League for Human Rights (PLHR), a network established in 2012 to document and promote the human rights of Palestinian refugees. Since 2011, Al Khateeb has been documenting human rights abuses committed by different parties within the Syrian conflict, whilst also volunteering to provide humanitarian assistance in the Yarmouk refugee camp.
Palestinian human rights defender Mr Abdullah Al-Khateeb has received notice of threats upon his life. The threats coincide with the raid of his residence in the Yarmouk refugee camp, 8 kilometers from Southern Damascus, by Islamist State (IS) militias on 1 April 2015.
he human rights and humanitarian work of Al Khateeb has made the human rights defender a target for the Syrian regime and armed opposition groups within the country. Recently, Al-Khateeb was informed by several credible sources that his life is under threat. On 1 April, members of the IS militias, who control large parts of the refugee camp in which the human rights defender resides, stormed his residence in an attempt to capture him. Al Khateeb was able to evacuate his residence a short time before this attack. This followed a previous attempt to kidnap the human rights defender in front of his residence on 9 March 2015, which was unsuccessful. A blockade, imposed on the camp by the Syrian army since July 2013, prevents the human rights defender from leaving.
The Yarmouk camp currently hosts around 18,000 Palestinian refugees and Syrian Internally Displaced Persons. The security situation within the camp has been deteriorating since 2012, due to the expansion of the armed conflict within Syria. Assassination of human rights defenders and humanitarian volunteers by militant groups has been common in the camp. On 30 March 2015, Mr Yehia Hourani, a volunteer for the *Red Crescent*, a Syrian humanitarian organisation, was killed on his way to his place of work. On 23 February 2015, Mr Firas Al Naji, a member of the PLHR, and close friend of Abdullah Al-Khateeb, was shot dead in his residence in the camp.