PA closes rights group office (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 04/15/12)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
The Palestinian Authority over the weekend closed down the offices of
a human rights group in the West Bank that criticized senior Fatah
official Azzam al- Ahmed, who is closely associated with PA President
PA Interior Minister Said Abu Ali, who signed the closure order, said
that the work of the Palestinian Human Rights Foundation monitor
was “not consistent” with the interests of the Palestinians.
The decision to shut down the foundation was taken following a
recommendation by PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki.
Malki recommended that the offices of the human rights group in the
West Bank be shut down “due to differences between its
representatives in Lebanon and the Palestinian embassy in Beirut.”
Abdel Aziz Tarekji, the regional director of the human rights group,
said that he did not receive a warning from the PA authorities before
“We were completely surprised by the decision to close down our
offices in the West Bank,” Tarekji said.
He said that he recently received threats from an aide to Azzam al-
Ahmed, a senior Fatah official and aide to Abbas.
According to Tarekji, the real reason for the closure of his offices
in the West Bank are statements in which he criticized Ahmed for not
visiting refugee camps when he was recently in Lebanon.
Following the criticism, one of Ahmed’s aides phoned him and
threatened to shut down the group’s offices in the West Bank.
The human rights group is now considering taking legal action against
the PA for closing down its offices in the West Bank, Tarekji said,
adding that he was planning to send letters of protest to Abbas and
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
The human rights foundation was founded in Lebanon in 2005 as a non-
political, non-factional and non-governmental organization. (© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/15/12)
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