Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns the arrest of Palestinian lawyer and human rights defender Farid al-Altrash at an Israeli checkpoint around midnight on 3 July 2021. Al-Atrash, who runs the southern West Bank office of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), was on his way to Bethlehem from Ramallah when the arrest took place.
According to available information, al-Atrash was transferred to Israel’s Hadassah Hospital after his health deteriorated during the arrest.
Al-Atrash’s unwarranted arrest by Israeli authorities must be framed in the context of Israel’s systematic attacks and campaign of intimidation against Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society organizations, a campaign that not only violates the rights of its targets, but also significantly hinders efforts to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
Al Mezan extends its full solidarity to al-Atrash and calls for his immediate release, while holding Israel responsible for his life. The international community must address the Israeli occupation authority’s incessant and blatant campaign against human rights defenders who are seeking to end the occupation and uphold international law.