Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network EMHRN

Linked with our presentation of Bahey El-Din Hassan – Egypt.

The Executive Committee consists of 12 members representing human rights organizations. The new formation of the Executive Committee therewith includes representatives from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia, France, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway. EMHRN was established in 1997 “to contribute to the protection and promotion of the human rights principles embodied in the Barcelona Declaration of November 1995 and in the bilateral association agreements between the EU and its Mediterranean partners.” Today, more than 60 organizations from 20 different countries from the Euro-Mediterranean region are members in the network.

Should the Palestinians be punished? – Despite being under occupation, over the last two years the Palestinian people have organized presidential and legislative elections which the international community has judged to be fair. The Palestinian people have thus proved their attachment to democracy and their desire to exercise their inalienable right to a State within the conditions laid down by international resolutions. As the legislative elections were won by Hamas, the Israeli government – regardless of its obligations – has frozen the refund of customs duties which it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. Several countries in northern Europe and the United States and Canada have also frozen their aid to the Palestinian Authority. The European Commission has recently followed suit. The EMHRN wishes to express its gravest concern in the face of an attitude which represents a two-fold denial. By freezing aid to the Palestinian Authority, the European Union is ignoring the democratic expression of the Palestinian people, even though it had made democracy one of the conditions for its help. Moreover, the EU is strengthening the feeling that there is a permanent double reasoning as, at the same time, it tolerates the multiple violations of Human Rights which the Israeli government is guilty of committing, as shown in the recent EMHRN Human Rights Review on the EU and Israel. What is even worse is that the measures taken will most likely lead to suffocation of the Palestinian people who are thus punished for their political choices – choices which are mainly dictated by a situation of injustice which they have known for more than 50 years. Such a policy can only lead to an escalation of the conflict at the expense of both the Israeli and Palestinian populations and to making prospects of peace and stability in this region of the world more remote. The EMHRN asks that democratic principles, human rights and humanitarian law are set at the heart of peace efforts and requests the European Union to re-establish its financial aid. (Read more on EMHRN Press Release on EU/PA relations, 12 April 2006.

links:


EMHRN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
, LONDON FEBRUARY 4-6 2005;

a human rights review on EU and Israel;

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