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Travel ban on human rights defender Laith Abu Zeyad

Status: 
Travel Ban
About the situation

On 31 May 2020, the Jerusalem District Court held a hearing for human rights defender Laith Abu Zeyad. The Court will take the final decision regarding the travel ban in the coming days.

On 31 May 2020, human rights defender Laith Abu Zeyad is due to attend his hearing regarding a travel ban imposed on him on 26 October 2019.

About Laith Abu Zeyad

Laith Abu Zeyad is a Palestinian human rights defender and a campaigner with Amnesty International. He campaigns against travel companies that promote tourism in the Israeli illegal settlements in the West Bank, whilst also focusing on exposing and documenting the discrimination and human rights violations committed by the Israeli authorities against Palestinians.

3 June 2020
Hearing held for HRD Laith Abu Zeyad

On 31 May 2020, the Jerusalem District Court held a hearing for human rights defender Laith Abu Zeyad. The Court accepted the Israeli Security Agency position which is based on undisclosed evidence. The Court did not allow the human rights defender's lawyer to review or to challenge the undisclosed evidence.

The Court will take the final decision regarding the travel ban in the coming days.

25 May 2020
Travel ban on human rights defender Laith Abu Zeyad

On 31 May 2020, human rights defender Laith Abu Zeyad is due to attend his hearing regarding a travel ban imposed on him on 26 October 2019.

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Laith Abu Zeyad is a Palestinian human rights defender and a campaigner with Amnesty International. He campaigns against travel companies that promote tourism in the Israeli illegal settlements in the West Bank, whilst also focusing on exposing and documenting the discrimination and human rights violations committed by the Israeli authorities against Palestinians.

On 26 October 2019, Laith Abu Zeyad was stopped by Israeli border authorities from leaving at the border crossing between occupied West Bank and Jordan. After waiting for four hours on the border, Laith Abu Zeyad was informed that the Israeli intelligence agency had imposed a travel ban on him for undisclosed security reasons.

In September 2019, the human rights defender had been denied entry to occupied East Jerusalem to accompany his mother for medical treatment. Similarly, the denied entry was allegedly due to undisclosed security reasons.

Laith Abu Zeyad believes that these punitive measures taken against him are due to his work on a report by Amnesty International regarding four travel companies that operate within the illegal Israeli settlements, and more broadly, his peaceful and legitimate human rights work.

There have been several unsuccessful attempts to lift the travel ban on Laith Abu Zeyad. On 13 February 2020, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) rejected a petition submitted by Amnesty International requesting to lift the travel ban. On 25 March 2020, another petition was submitted to the Jerusalem District Court, the hearing for which will be held on 31 May 2020.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned regarding the continuous harassment of human rights defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by the Israeli authorities. Front Line Defenders believes the travel ban on human rights defender Laith Abu Zeyad is directly linked to his peaceful and legitimate human rights work and activities.