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Human Rights Group Denounce Israeli Persecution of Ameer Makhoul

30. May 2010

Israel is intensifying its crackdown on Palestinian Civil Society. As a result, Addameer (the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association) has submitted an urgent appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders on behalf of Ameer Makhoul.

Mr. Makhoul is a Palestinian citizen of Israel. He was arrested at his home in Haifa on May 6th and detained by Israel since then at an interrogation centre.


The appeal seeks immediate intervention by the UN body and argues that Mr Makhoul’s arrest and detention and a recent order banning him from exiting the country are arbitrary, politically motivated and constitute persecution of a human rights defender in violation of international law. Mr. Makhoul is the General Director of Ittijah, The Union of Arab Community-Based Associations in Israel. Ittijah was founded in 1995 in Israel.




An Israeli court prevented Mr. Makhoul from meeting with his attorneys for two weeks after his arrest and imposed a gag order prohibiting Israeli publication of any mention of his arrest. Mr. Makhoul finally met with his attorneys on May 19th. The gag order was also finally lifted after appeals were filed by Adalah, the Israeli Human rights groups outside Israel have taken up the case.


In an on-line declaration, the human rights groups demanded Mr. Makhoul be freed and that Israel conform to its obligations under international law.



Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. However, the Israeli authorities continue to hold Mr. Makhoul. International Commission of Jurists and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) have rallied in support of him. They have denounced his arrest and jailing, calling it an example of Israeli harassment of human rights activists. They have also denounced the fact that Mr. Makhoul has been suffering from exhaustion as a result of sleep deprivation. He has been subjected to various forms of intensive interrogation and this has raised fears of possible torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.