The European Union Representative issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah.
On 6 January, the Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro was convicted in an Israeli Military Court on six out of eighteen charges related to his human rights activities between 2010-2016. After criticizing the Palestinian Authority on social media, he was also charged in 2017 in a Palestinian court with disturbing “public order” under Palestine’s Cyber Crime Law of 2017 as well as “insulting the higher authorities” under the 1960 Jordanian Penal code still enforced in the West Bank.
The Office of the European Union Representative (West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNRWA) and several EU Member States have closely followed the cases of Issa Amro. Representatives of the EU and EU Member States have attended his court hearings on multiple occasions, most recently in the Israeli Military Court on 6 January as well as in the Hebron Magistrate Court on 27 January.
The EU and EU Member States call on the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to drop the politically motivated charges against Issa Amro.
The EU firmly opposes actions aimed at limiting the space in which civil society, including human rights defenders, can operate and will continue to stand firm in its support of freedom of expression and freedom of association. The EU considers that a vibrant civil society is essential to ensure effective protection of human rights and to contribute to achieving lasting peace and security in the occupied Palestinian territory, in Israel and in the wider region.
EU Press Office on +972-2-541 5888