Rights groups Amnesty & Human Right Watch call on Israel to Lift travel ban Al-Haq director

MAAN NEWS AGENCY MARCH 1 2012

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch on Thursday called on Israel to revoke a travel ban on Palestinian rights activist Shawan Jabarin, after allowing him to travel temporarily.

Israel’s state prosecutor agreed to a “temporary exception” to the ban allowing Jabarin to travel to Geneva at the invitation of the UN special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

But the two rights groups said Thursday that Israel never produced any evidence to justify banning Jabarin from traveling, and should follow this belated exception by lifting the arbitrary ban entirely.

A petition filed on Feb. 16 will ask the Israeli high court to overturn the ban.

Jabarin is the director of Al-Haq, a Palestinian rights group based in the West Bank. He has not been allowed to travel abroad to receive two awards in the Netherlands in 2010 and in Denmark in 2011.

The ban is based on secret evidence that has never been disclosed to Jabarin or his lawyers.

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