Al-Haq today received the Danish PL Foundation Human Rights Award at a ceremony in Copenhagen, in recognition of the organisation’s dedication to the protection of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). The annual award, which honours organisations and individuals who lead the fight for the respect for human rights and dignity, and has been jointly bestowed on Al-Haq and B’Tselem. The presentation was made by Danish Supreme Court Justice, Poul Soegaard.
In her speech to the assembled members of the Danish human rights committee at the awards ceremony Nina Atallah,Head of the Monitoring and Documentation Departmentsaid, “[w]e thank the PL Foundation for its recognition of our hard work and also congratulate our friends at B’Tselem. This is an important acknowledgement of the ongoing struggle for rights faced by all Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Every day we continue to witness, document and report on the systematic way Israel uses its occupation policies to confiscate more and more land, effectively fragmenting the territory into small, disconnected enclaves for Palestinians. These policies remove people from their homes, restrict their freedom of movement, separate them from their agricultural land, and deny them access to natural resources, such as water.”
Shawan Jabarin, the General Director of the organisation, was unable to attend the ceremony as he was prevented on Sunday from leaving Palestine at the Allenby Bridge crossing to Jordan. Mr. Jabarin is subject to a travel ban that has lasted five years and as such is prevented from leaving the OPT by Israeli military authorities, who repeatedly cite ‘security reasons’ as the justification for the ban. No other details have been released and the contents of any file against Mr. Jabarin are kept secret.
Commenting on the decision to recognise Al-Haq, The PL Foundation said that the award “honours outstanding human rights personalities and organisations in their non-violent struggle for human rights. Organisations like Al-Haq fill an imperative role in any civil society, particularly those under occupation. Al-Haq, through its tireless work in often extremely challenging circumstances, has kept the human rights issue at the very forefront of the international discourse on the OPT. Furthermore, it has ensured that international law is given a clear voice amid the backdrop of armed conflict. We are very happy to offer the 2011 award to Al-Haq along with B'Tselem."
Ms. Atallah also met with the recently appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs, Villy Søvndal, in Copenhagen, to discuss the continuing deterioration of human rights standards in the OPT and how best Denmark can help facilitate the Palestinian people’sexercise of their right to self-determination.
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