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Meeting On Human Rights In Palestine

Public Meeting on Human Rights in Palestine by New Zealand Lawyer Dianne Luping

Dianne Luping is a New Zealand human rights lawyer working as the Co-ordinator of International Advocacy and International Law Legal Officer at a non-governmental human rights organisation (‘NGO’) in the West Bank called LAW, The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights & The Environment. She has been living and working in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (namely the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip) since January 2001. Dianne also acted as the alternate Asia Pacific representative of the International Steering Committee for the NGO Forum of the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerances held in South Africa in August-September 2001 (The Durban UN Racism Conference).

Where: Wellington Public Library, Mezzanine Room When: Tuesday the 15th January, 6:00pm

She is in New Zealand for a short time before she returns to work in the Occupied Territories and has been invited by the Wellington Palestine Group to talk about her work and the plight of the Palestinian people. During her talk Dianne Luping will cover a number of issues drawn from her experiences throughout 2001, including:

1.A general overview of the current situation on the ground and summary of the key human rights violations perpetrated by both the Israeli military and Palestinian Authority;

2.Human rights abuses she has witnessed on a first hand basis, including war crimes;

3.How Israeli military human rights abuses amount to ‘apartheid’, war crimes, and ‘ethnic cleansing’;

4.Terrorism;

5.The obstructive approach taken by the New Zealand government to Israel/Palestine at the United Nations;

6.What happened at the UN Racism Conference held in South Africa;

7.Parallels drawn between South African apartheid and Israeli methods by South Africans (including leading Jewish anti apartheid activists) and Jewish Israeli human rights activists;

8.The role that can be played by civil society groups, in a particular in a global solidarity movement against Israel’s brand of apartheid.

The meeting will be held at the Wellington Public Library in the Mezzanine Meeting Room and is open to all members of the public.

Additional Information

She has been a practising lawyer for 10 years, first working at law firms in New Zealand (Russell McVeagh McKenzie Bartleet & Co.) and in the U.K. (Linklaters), specialising in employment and discrimination law. She then worked at the UK human rights organisation Liberty, The National Council for Civil Liberties as their Equality Legal Officer and Women’s Human Rights lawyer. In that role she was involved in several test cases brought against the UK government before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and UK courts, including acting as the solicitor for two of the MOD Four who successfully challenged the British ban on gay men and lesbians serving in the British armed forces, intervening in a House of Lords case raising issues as to rights of battered women who kill, and successfully bringing the first civil case under the UK Human Rights Act 1998. She provided training for UK lawyers and various civil society groups (including trade unions, women’s groups, ethnic minority groups) in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights and discrimination law. She was also called upon to give oral evidence on behalf of Liberty at UK Select Committees of the House of Commons and House of Lords. She managed Liberty’s project for reform of the UK’s equality laws.

LAW is the largest human rights NGO based in the West Bank, Palestine, and focuses upon human rights abuses perpetrated by the Israeli military as well as the Palestinian Authority. Di Luping is responsible for LAW’s international advocacy work, including its oral and written submissions and reports, and lobbying work for key United Nations bodies and government representatives.

Two of the main projects that Di Luping worked on in 2001 was first, to report on war crimes perpetrated by Israeli occupying forces and to prepare for future prosecutions. LAW is acting for two of the victims of the massacre of 3,500 Palestinians in the camps of Sabra & Shatilla in Lebanon in 1982, who have brought a case before the Belgian courts to prosecute those responsible for the massacre including current Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. LAW is working together with international experts and leading Jewish Israeli human rights lawyers on this project. Secondly, Di Luping has undertaken substantive research on the parallels between methods used by the South African apartheid regime and Israel. Israel’s methods amount to the crime of apartheid as well as ethnic cleansing. LAW has been working closely with Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights activists on this project, including former South African anti apartheid activists. Di Luping acted as the alternate Asia Pacific representative of the International Steering Committee for the NGO Forum of the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerances held in South Africa in August-September 2001.

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