At 11:30 am on Thursday, 5 March 2009, the Israeli High Court of Justice will hear the petition brought by the General Director of Al-Haq, Shawan Jabarin, with the help of attorney Michael Sfard, seeking to overturn the travel ban imposed on Mr. Jabarin by the Israeli occupying authorities, in time for him to be able to attend the award ceremony for the Dutch Prize for Human Rights Defenders, the ‘Geuzenpenning,’ honouring Al-Haq and B’Tselem, to be held 13 March 2009 in Vlaardingen, The Netherlands.
We strongly encourage you to attend the hearing, either in your individual capacity or as a representative of your organisation or diplomatic mission, in order to display support for Mr. Jabarin, as well as to monitor the proceedings and to demonstrate that the injustices being perpetrated by Israeli occupying authorities upon human rights defenders in the OPT are not going unnoticed.
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should you have any questions, comments or require further information pertaining to the case. The address of the High Court of Justice is: Sha‘arei Mishpat, Number 1, Kiryat Hamemshala, Jerusalem. Thank you very much for your support and we look forward to seeing you at the hearing.
Before his travel ban was imposed in 2006, Mr. Jabarin, a longstanding human rights defender, traveled freely to and from the occupied West Bank, going abroad on eight separate occasions between 1999 and February 2006. Mr. Jabarin was then promoted by Al-Haq to the position of General Director. Since October 2006, the Israeli military authorities have repeatedly denied him permission to leave the West Bank to attend human rights conferences in various countries, thereby hindering his professional duties. The ban has effectively been absolute in scope, yet no formal order has been issued, nor have the Israeli authorities explained why the restrictions have been imposed. Further information on the history and circumstances of Mr. Jabarin’s travel ban can be found in previous Al-Haq, Human Rights Watch and Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders press releases.
In June 2007, and again in July 2008, the Israeli High Court of Justice upheld the restrictions on Mr. Jabarin’s freedom of movement without legal reasoning or justification, on the basis of secret “evidence” which was examined ex parte. A summary and analysis of the hearings are available here