Human rights groups working in Israel: Border control not thought control

We, human rights organizations from Israel, consider Israel’s refusal to allow Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch (HRW) to enter the country a cause of grave concern. We stand in solidarity with him and our colleagues at HRW.

Israel seeks to portray itself as a card-carrying member of the club of democratic countries. Yet what is democracy without free speech, robust public debate and open criticism? A state that defines itself as democratic cannot turn its border control into a thought police.

Neither closing Israel’s borders to human rights organizations and activists nor other measures by the Israeli government against organizations that criticize the occupation will deter us from continuing to report human rights violations in the territories controlled by Israel. Attempts to silence the messenger will not suppress our message.

Adalah Center

Akevot

Amnesty International Israel

Bimkom

Breaking the Silence

B’Tselem

Coalition of Women for Peace

Emek Shaveh

Gisha

Hamoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual

Haqel-Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights

Human Rights Defenders Fund

Machsom Watch

Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality

Physicians for Human Rights Israel

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

Yesh Din

Blog URL:
http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20170224_hrw_denied_visa