ICSPR demands the P.A to release the human rights activist Issa Amro immediately
The International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights ICSPR followed with deep concern the detention of the activist Issa Ismail Hasan Amro, 39-years-old for the sixth day consecutively; the PA. detained Amro on Tuesday, 03 September 2017, for criticizing the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Facebook to denounce Palestinian authorities for threatening journalists not to publicize Qawasmeh’s arrest. Amro called on the PA to respect and protect international and domestic law, as Amro threatened to document and publish the P.A violations.
The arresting of the activist Issa Amro and the journalist Al- Qawasmeh-that was released earlier- comes as a result of a systematic policy launched by the Palestinian Authorities and the preventive security service in the West Bank to narrow the areas of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The PA has been the target of fierce condemnation over the arrests, which were the latest applications of a presidential decree issued by Abbas in 24 June 2017, which approved a far-reaching Cyber Crimes Law that has been widely denounced as an extreme attempt to criminalize dissent against the PA.
The International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights ICSPR expressed concern on Tuesday over Amro’s detention and highlighted that freedom of expression is guaranteed by international agreements, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Palestine ratified in 2014, as well as it is guaranteed by article (19) under Palestinian Basic Law. ICSPR declares that it has intended to address the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, to urge him to move and put pressure on the PA to fulfill its international obligations toward the realization of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, ICSPR demands the following:
ICSPR confirms that what the human rights activist Issa Amro and the journalist ‘Qawasmeh’ published, falls within the right of freedom of opinion and expression, in accordance with international standards, which Palestine ratified.
ICSPR condemns the restrictions imposed on freedom of opinion in the West Bank, where the mere demand to respect the law is a crime by the Article (159) of the Penal Code no. (16) 1960 in West Bank leading to detention, which intimidates journalists and opinion-makers.
ICSPR demands the Ministry of Interior and National Security to take serious actions in order to guarantee respecting the rights and public freedoms that constitutionally guaranteed, in accordance with international human rights standards, especially the freedom of opinion and expression.
ICSPR Calls the General-Attorney to issue an urgent decision to release the human rights activist Amro immediately, and any other detainee for exercising their rights and fundamental freedoms.
ICSPR Reaffirms its steadfastness and rejection of all violations against Palestinian human rights wherever they occur, based on the importance of the inviolability of the Palestinians’ rights under any pretext or justification.