TDN World Desk: Israel is set to become the first democracy to expel a Human Rights Watch employee, its executive director Ken Roth said Sunday, denouncing the upcoming deportation of one of his staffers. He also said, ”Israel today joins the likes of Venezuela, Iran and Egypt in barring Human Rights Watch researchers, but it too will not succeed in hiding its human rights abuses. Rather, this act of censorship has backfired by intensifying the spotlight on Israeli abuse.”
U.S. citizen Omar Shakir, the New York-based rights group’s director for Israel and the Palestinian territories, is to be deported from Israel on Monday over his alleged support of a boycott of the country.
The expulsion, upheld by the supreme court, would make Shakir the first person to be expelled from the country under a controversial 2017 law allowing the deportation of foreigners who support a boycott of Israel, according to authorities.
HRW denies Shakir supports a boycott of the Jewish state and accuses Israel of seeking to suppress criticism of policies towards Palestinians.
“I cannot think of another democracy that has barred a Human Rights Watch researcher,” Roth told the AFP in Jerusalem.
Roth said countries including North Korea, Venezuela and Iran have expelled HRW researchers but no functioning democracy had taken such action.
“I think it demonstrates the increasingly constrained nature of Israeli democracy,” Roth added.
Human Rights Watch director said that expelling its employee won’t stop them working rather ”he will continue to direct the work from Amman.”
” Israel thought it would silence HRW but it has reinforced our determination to spotlight its discrimnatory oppression of Palestinians,” he further added.