28 June 2010
UN Human Rights Committee to Review Israel on 13-14 July in Geneva
Joint Report by Adalah, Al Mezan and PHR-Israel to UN on Torture, Prisoners, the Lack of Investigations into Cast Lead and the Siege on Gaza including the Denial of Health Rights
The UN Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), will review Israel's Third Periodic Report issued in 2008 and its overall implementation of the human rights treaty on 13-14 July 2010 in Geneva. Israel is a State Party to the ICCPR, which it ratified in 1991, and thus, it is legally bound to uphold the convention.
At the Geneva sessions in July, Israel will present its responses to the Committee's "List of Issues", which it published in December 2009. The List of Issues, consisting of 30 comprehensive questions, covers a wide range of human rights concerns in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Fourteen questions posed by the Committee were directly related to human rights violations highlighted in an NGO report submitted by Adalah, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Gaza) and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel on 10 August 2009. In the report, the three human rights organizations detailed Israel's lack of compliance with the ICCPR in areas related to the rights of Palestinian prisoners and detainees, as well as Palestinian civilians in the OPT.
Last week, the three organizations submitted a supplemental report to assist the Committee it in its upcoming review. Among the subjects covered in the new report: home demolitions; Israeli violations of international law during the War on Gaza, the lack of domestic remedies for Palestinians from Gaza in Israel, and the inadequacy of Israel's investigations to date; the blockade on Gaza particularly focusing on food, medicine, and the denial of health rights including coercive GSS (Shabak) interrogation of patients; the lack of investigations into complaints of torture and the lack of effective safeguards against torture; new data on "security prisoners" including unlawful combatants and administrative detainees, the ban on family visits to prisoners from Gaza incarcerated in Israel, and the proposed new "Shalit laws"; the imprisonment of Palestinian Legislative Council members and the revocation of their Jerusalem residency status and their impeding deportation. Further, the organizations submitted new information to the Committee concerning the Israeli naval attack on the Gaza Freedom flotilla resulting in the killing of nine Turkish nationals, the wounding of dozens of others, and the detention and deportation of around 700 activists on the ships.
All NGO, State party and Committee documents are available at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/hrcs99.htm