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Monday, May 23, 2022

Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater condemns Israeli government naming six Palestinian human right groups as terrorist organisations

Ms Leadbeater has described the decision as “both wrong and counter-productive”.

The MP for Batley and Spen, Kim Leadbeater, has condemned the Israeli government’s announcement designating six Palestinian human rights groups as terrorist organisations.

She said it was vital that the rights of Palestinians can be upheld peacefully both internationally and in the Middle East and called the decision “both wrong and counter-productive”.

Kim told Asian Standard: “A number of my constituents have raised this with me and I share their concern at this arbitrary and unjustified act. You don’t defeat terrorism by effectively closing down human rights organisations or making it illegal to speak out in support of them.

“I have written to the Israeli Ambassador to protest about this move which, as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have pointed out, is an attack on the international human rights movement after decades during which Israel has sought to punish those who criticise its repressive rule over Palestinians.

“I have also written to the UK government urging them to make clear that Britain will stand by human rights defenders and not stay silent when they are subject to unjustified harassment or proscription of this kind.”

The groups are Addameer, al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees.

The announcement, from Israeli Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, gives the authorities the power to close their offices, seize their assets and arrest and jail their members.

Ms Leadbeter said: “This will prevent these groups from performing their legitimate democratic role and is a very troubling attack on freedom of expression.”

For further information please contact: lance.price@parliament.uk


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