Nine UN human rights special rapporteurs have appealed to the EU to pressure Israel to rescind its designation of six Palestinian NGOs as terror organizations.
In a letter published over the weekend, the nine investigators asked EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to set a time frame for Israel to provide evidence of the terrorist activity.
“Demand that Israel publicly present, within a short and defined time frame, concrete and credible evidence that the six Palestinian organizations are, and operate as, terrorist organizations,” the investigators wrote. “Demand that, if Israel fails to present such evidence... it should fully and publicly withdraw its allegations and the designations without delay.”
Last week, a delegation of local diplomats from 10 EU countries visited the NGOs in Ramallah, led by EU representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.
Borrell and a number of EU member states have publicly expressed skepticism over the terror designation, but the EU has not taken a more active stance on the matter.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet spoke virtually about the issue at a special UN event in New York on Tuesday. She said that without such evidence the decision to target the six NGOs appears “arbitrary” and can “legitimately be viewed as an attack on human rights defenders.”
The six Palestinian organizations Israel designated in October as terror organizations were: Al-Haq, Addameer, Bisan Center, Defense for Children International-Palestine, Union of Agricultural Work Committees and Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.
Those who signed the letter include Michael Lynk, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, and Irene Khan, special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.