Israel bars Palestinian NGO chief from travel
The director of a prominent Palestinian organisation was denied boarding a flight and prevented from travelling by Israeli authorities on Sunday, days after a similar incident targeting another Palestinian civil society leader.
Sahar Francis, the director of Palestinian NGO Addameer for Prisoner Support and Human Rights was travelling to Mexico to attend the World Social Forum, an annual meeting of civil society organizations worldwide. Addameer supports political prisoners detained in Israeli and Palestinian prisons.
"Preventing the directors of leading Palestinian civil society organizations from traveling and speaking abroad is a dangerous escalation in the Israeli-led harassment and isolation campaign," Addameer wrote on Twitter.
🚨 Sahar Francis, the longtime director of Addameer, human rights defender & lawyer, was just banned from boarding a plane to the US while headed to the World Social Forum in Mexico—like director of @BisanResearch, @UbaiAboudi, who was prohibited from traveling earlier. 1/5 pic.twitter.com/nrlg7s7VjR— Addameer –الضمير (@Addameer) April 30, 2022
On Friday, Israeli authorities similarly denied Palestinian activist Ubai Aboudi permission to leave the territory to attend the same forum. Ubai Aboudi is the executive director of Bisan Center for Research and Development, a Palestinian civil society organisation.
"All these human rights violations would not happen if it were not for the complicity of governments and officials that are refusing to hold Apartheid Israel accountable for its crimes," Aboudi said on Twitter. "This denial will not scare me, we will continue the work."
Addameer and the Bisan Center are among six Palestinian organisations that were listed as "terrorist" and outlawed by Israel last October, drawing international concern. United Nations experts and various human rights groups slammed the designation, calling it "baseless", and called on the international community to resume funding the organisations.