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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai
Observations on communications transmitted to Governments and replies received*
* The present document is being circulated as received, in the languages of submission only
235. JUA 27/03/2013. Case no. ISR 4/2013. State reply: None to date. Alleged arrest, ill-treatment and arbitrary detention of a human rights defender.
236. JUA 02/08/2013. Case no. ISR 7/2013. State reply: None to date. Alleged judicial harassment, stigmatization, physical attacks torture in custody and an assassination attempt against a human rights defender; possible acts of reprisals.
237. The Special Rapporteur regrets that the Government of Israel has not responded to his communications. As stated in his previous report on 30 May 2013, he reiterates that he considers the responses to his communications as an important part of the cooperation of Governments with his mandate and urges the authorities to provide detailed responses to all the concerns raised in his communications. The Special Rapporteur trusts the Government will shed light without further delay on the cases brought to his attention during the period under review, which include the reported detention and torture of Mr. Karajah, human rights defender and member of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, in January 2013, and the reports of judicial harassment, torture and defamation against Mr. Issa Amro, prominent human rights defender and founding member of several peaceful human rights organizations in the occupied West Bank, including Youth Against Settlements.
242. The Special Rapporteur expresses again his concern about increased restrictions on the rights of individuals to freedom of association of peaceful assembly; in particular, he is concerned that security considerations may be used to curtail these rights. The Special Rapporteur reminds the Government of Israel that the limitation measures provided for in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are sufficient to effectively fight against terrorism. He reiterates the content of the articles 21 and 22 of the mentioned Covenant, which Israel ratified on 3 October 1991: "The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others." (ICCPR, article 21) "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on members of the armed forces and of the police in their exercise of this right" (ICCPR, article 22).
243. The Special Rapporteur urges the Government of Israel to take immediate steps to facilitate the exercise of peaceful assembly and free association. He reiterates the content of the operative paragraph 2 of the Human Rights Council Resolution 24/5 that "[r]eminds States of their obligation to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to assemble peacefully and associate freely, online as well as offline, including in the context of elections, and including persons espousing minority or dissenting views or beliefs, human rights defenders, trade unionists and others, including migrants, seeking to exercise or to promote these rights, and to take all necessary measures to ensure that any restrictions on the free exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law."