Addameer participates in the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

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29 March 2018

Addameer, as part of a group from Palestinian civil society, recently attended the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. As part of this coalition, we engaged directly with the proceedings on human rights violations in the Palestinian territories, participated in two side events, conducted meetings with diplomatic representatives, and had discussions with mandate holders and representatives of UN mechanisms.

In addition, a representative of Addameer spoke alongside the Special Rapporteur on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk. He, along with the members on the panel from Society of St Ives, Badeel Resource Center, and Al Haq. The other members of the panel addressed the situation in Jerusalem, and the Israeli legal encroachment on the rights of Jerusalemite Palestinians. Our representative specifically linked these encroachments with an increase in the use of imprisonment as a means to control a restive population. 

Overall, the primary focus of our interventions and discussions were the continuing use of imprisonment as a tool of control and domination, the military court and its contraventions of fair trial standards, and, most importantly, the ongoing lawyer and prisoner boycott of all legal proceedings.

The meetings were exceptionally fruitful, with there being clear paths forward to utilizing international legal institutions and instruments in our quest to hold duty bearers accountable. We look forward to continuing our work towards specific condemnations of the Israeli practice

Despite its short comings, the language of international law, and its attached institutions, play a crucial role in the quest for Palestinian self-determination and justice for the prisoners. It is an important measuring stick by which to assess the conduct of the occupying state.

While we, as Palestinians, fully understand the unjust nature of the occupation, the international community attempts to measure their crimes in the objective language of international law. This is why we must continue to use international institutions, such as the Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court. The occupying state must be placed against the yard stick of international law in order to show that Israel is not a normal state in the international community. It is an occupier.