Israel: death threats made against Amnesty and other civil society organisations
Messages sprayed outside Amnesty office, while further threats and a dead mouse left outside refugee organisation’s building
The Israeli authorities must urgently investigate death threats targeting three civil society organisations, including Amnesty International’s Israel office in Tel Aviv, Amnesty said today.
Last night, anonymous death threats were sprayed outside the offices of Amnesty International Israel and ASSAF, an organisation working to assist refugees and people seeking asylum in Israel.
At the same time, a box containing death threats and a dead mouse was left at the entrance to the Elifelet Children’s Activity Center for refugees.
In recent years, the climate for human rights defenders in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories has rapidly deteriorated, and the Israeli authorities have unduly restricted the rights to freedom of expression and association inside Israel, with officials intimidating human rights defenders critical of the government and introducing legislation to silence dissent.
Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research and Advocacy Director, said:
“These are deplorable and malicious acts targeting civil society organisations carrying out human rights work.
“The Israeli authorities should take a strong stand by publicly condemning these acts and making clear that attacks against NGOs will not be tolerated.
“The Israeli authorities must also take steps to ensure that human rights defenders and civil society organisations more generally are effectively protected, and can carry out their work free from threats, intimidation or harassment.
“All attacks against human rights defenders must be promptly investigated and those responsible brought to justice.”