Dutch human rights prize to be awarded to B'Tselem and al-Haq tomorrow

Published: 
12 Mar 2009

B'Tselem protests Israel's refusal to let al-Haq's executive director leave the West Bank to receive the award

Tomorrow, the human rights organizations B'Tselem and al-Haq will receive the prestigious Dutch “Geuzen Resistance 1940-1945” award at a ceremony in Vlaardingen, Holland. The prize, first given in 1987, is awarded to persons or institutions dedicated to advancing democracy and opposing tyranny, discrimination, and racism.

Shawan Jabarin, executive director of the Palestinian organization al-Haq, is banned from leaving the West Bank and will not be able to accept the award on behalf of his organization. B'Tselem strongly protested Israel's denial of Jabarin's freedom of movement. B'Tselem's executive director, Jessica Montell, who will receive the prize on behalf of B'Tselem, said that, “The satisfaction B'Tselem feels for the recognition given the organization for its work, reflected in the award of this important prize, will not be complete as long as al-Haq, our partner in the struggle to realize universal human rights principles, is prohibited from sharing this occasion with us.”

Arie Wapenaar
A press conferenct held in Vlaardingen, Holland. Photo: Arie Wapenaar

In the seven years prior to his appointment as executive director, Jabarin was permitted to leave the West Bank eight times. Since 2006, the Israeli authorities have not permitted him to go abroad. Four petitions that Jabarin filed in the High Court of Justice against the prohibition were denied, based on privileged material provided to the court, on the grounds that he is active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine organization. Jabarin has never been tried on any charge or given an opportunity to confront the allegations against him in a legal proceeding under due process.