70 UN-accredited NGOs Lodge UN Case Against Hamas & PA For Arbitrary Detention Of Peace Activist
Ahead of a United Nations debate next week on arbitrary detention, a coalition of 70 NGOs announced that it lodged a legal complaint with the UN to demand the release of Rami Aman, the Palestinian peace activist in Gaza who has been famously jailed by Hamas since April 9th for having organized a Zoom video call between Israeli and Palestinian peace activists, and who now faces increased danger due to fears of the coronavirus spreading in prison in Gaza.
The legal complaint to the UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, an independent tribunal of five jurists and human rights experts, was submitted by a cross-regional coalition of more than 70 UN-accredited non-governmental organizations from numerous countries including Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Nigeria, Morocco, Pakistan, Switzerland and the United States. (See list of NGOs in annex to complaint.)
The NGOs intend to raise the case of Rami Aman at the UN Human Rights Council next week when the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention appears before the 47-nation plenary for an interactive dialogue on September 18th.
The UN experts' rulings are not legally binding, but are cited by judges worldwide and can exert pressure on governments to release those imprisoned without due process.
“Hamas's arbitrary and unlawful arrest and detention of Mr. Aman for the crime of 'normalization' is part of a pattern of repression and intimidation against dissidents who dare to speak out against the authoritarian regime,” said Hillel Neuer, an international human rights lawyer, and director of the Swiss human rights NGO UN Watch, one of the 70 signatories of the appeal.
“Our complaint seeks to hold Hamas — and the Palestinian Authority, which claims jurisdiction in Gaza — accountable for the wrongful imprisonment of Mr. Aman, a violation of international law and of Mr. Aman’s universal human rights.”
"We hope that in next week's UN debate countries like Canada, France, Germany, the UK and other democracies will take the floor to speak out for the release of Rami Aman."