Thursday, 18 November 2010

Shawan Jabarin Denied Right to Travel to Galway

Tomorrow, we begin two days of events to mark the tenth anniversary of activities of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. One of our honoured guests was to be Shawan Jabarin, the director of the Palestinian NGO Al Haq. Shawan completed our LLM programme some years ago, and we will honour him at a banquet tomorrow as a distinguished graduate. Alas, Israel will not allow Shawan the right to travel. Yesterday, the Israeli embassy in Dublin - cloaked by diplomatic immunity - issued a nasty statement accusing him of terrorism, based upon secret evidence allegedly presented to courts in Israel but which Shawan has never seen and cannot contest.
The Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Micheal Martin, responded today in the Dail (one of the houses of the Irish Parliament) to a question about Shawan:

                                                                        Question No. 13

Parliamentary Question - Dept Details

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views on the case of Shawan Jabarin, the director of the human rights agency Al-Haq who is a graduate of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and who hopes to travel to an anniversary event for this centre in Galway but at present will not be in a position to do so due to the travel ban imposed by the Israeli State; if efforts will be made in order to assist his passage; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Jack Wall.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 18th November, 2010.

Ref No:   43161/10     Lottery:   12                                                                             


Shawan Jabarin is the Director of Al-Haq, an important and respected Palestinian human rights organisation which is supported by Irish Aid. Through our Mission in Ramallah my Department has regular contacts with Al Haq and with Mr. Jabarin personally.

He has been consistently refused permission to leave Palestine since June 2006, when he returned from a fellowship at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Ireland and other EU partners have made representations to allow him to travel to human rights events in Europe, but without success. The Israeli authorities have insisted that they have serious security concerns in relation to Mr. Jabarin, and this view has been upheld by Israeli courts, although the evidence on which it was based has remained secret.

On this occasion Mr. Jabarin has been refused permission to travel to the tenth anniversary event of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, which takes place tomorrow, and I understand he intends to participate by video link. We will continue to urge that he be allowed to travel and represent human rights concerns in Palestine.


mihai said...

They are afraid that he might blow himself up at a Pizza Hut in Galway.

Evelyne said...

I am glad you are posting this here. I sincerely hope Mr. Jabarin and other Palestinians are able to travel if they have legitimate plans to do so. Unfortunately, it seems that he is not the only individual with problems of this kind. One of my very first jobs involved obtaining visas for Palestinian/Jordanian civil society members to travel to an international anti-corruption conference in Manama, Bahrain. I will never forget the individual who – after days of trying- finally got a permit to use Ben Gurion airport, but only for a few hours and four days prior to the conference. It was only by chance that I actually had his entry visa for Bahrain since I couldn’t cancel his visa application anyways. Determined as he was, he jumped into a taxi, spent three days in the transit zone of the airport until he had a flight and he made it to our conference.

Half Europe panicked when we had the volcanic ash cloud in spring, but for others, the skies, rails and roads are still closed for different reasons.

I hope at least the video link will work well so that Mr. Jabarin is able to talk about the work of al Haq.