28 June 2010
Adalah Submits Report to UN Human Rights Committee on Arab Citizens of Israel
Report reveals deteriorating status of the civil and political rights of the Arab minority in Israel through the further enactment of Discriminatory Laws, Restrictions on Human Rights Defenders and the Criminalization of Arab Political Leaders
UN Committee to Review Israel on 13-14 July 2010 in Geneva
On 13-14 July 2010, the UN Human Rights Committee, which monitors Israel's compliance with the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), will review Israel's implementation of this human rights treaty in Geneva. Israel ratified the ICCPR in 1991 and is therefore legally bound to abide by the convention.
In November 2008, Israel submitted its Third Periodic Report to the Committee. In December 2009, the Committee published its "List of Issues" for Israel. The Committee's thirty questions featured numerous inquiries regarding Israel's violations of the civil and political rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel raised by Adalah in its initial NGO Report, submitted to the Committee on 10 August 2009. At the Geneva sessions in July, Israel will present its responses to the Committee's "List of Issues".
Last week, Adalah submitted a supplemental report to assist the Committee it in its upcoming review. Among the subjects covered in the new report: new discriminatory laws against Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel; the status of the Arabic language; the Arab Bedouin in the unrecognized villages in the Naqab (Negev) and the lack of services provided to them as well as the limitations on their right to vote in local elections; new bills aimed at restricting and de-legitimizing the work of human rights organizations and activists; updated information on the "loyalty bills" and the Citizenship Law, which bans family unification; and criminal indictments and investigations targeting the leadership of Arab citizens of Israel including Arab Knesset members and civil society leaders.
Other issues before the Committee raised by Adalah in 2009 include: police brutality at demonstrations; the lack of protection for Muslim holy sites in Israel; the revocation of citizenship law for "breach of trust" or disloyalty; and the under-representation of Arab citizens of Israel in the public service.
In addition to this new supplemental report, Adalah together with Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel submitted a new report to the Committee detailing violations of the ICCPR in relation to Palestinian prisoners and detainees and Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Additional key issues in that report included the lack of adequate investigations into the War on Gaza, the siege on Gaza, and the Israeli naval attack on the Freedom Flotilla.
All NGO, State party and Committee documents are available at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/hrcs99.htm