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February 2, 2017 6:56 pm

Amnesty International Australia Apologizes for Facebook Comment Defending Muslim Discrimination Against Israeli Passport Holders

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The comment that was later deleted and apologized for. Photo: Screenshot.

The comment that was later deleted and apologized for. Photo: Screenshot.

Amnesty International Australia has apologized after one of its volunteers posted a comment on its Facebook page earlier this week defending the 16 Muslim-majority nations around the world that bar entry to Israeli passport holders.

“The countries that banned the passport have done so for a reason,” the comment in question read. “They are aware of the atrocities committed by the Israel Defence Force and have seen Palestinians being displaced from their homes for the illegal settlements.”

The comment was made in a discussion thread under an AJ+ video shared by Amnesty that was critical of US President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban executive order.

Later, the comment was erased and Amnesty issued an “Apology and Clarification of Amnesty’s Position on Travel Bans”:

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On Tuesday 31 January, a comment was posted on the Amnesty International Australia Facebook page regarding travel restrictions on Israeli passport-holders. The comment did not reflect Amnesty International’s position on this issue, and as such we would like to apologise for any misunderstanding this comment has caused.

To clarify our position: Freedom of movement is a fundamental human right. No person should be denied their human rights on the basis of their nationality.

Amnesty International is opposed to any ban on entry to a country purely on the basis of nationality or religious belief. Naturally this includes any restrictions on entry for Israeli citizens. We note that these kinds of restrictions have had a negative impact on the ability of our staff and our partners to research and report on human rights violations across the region.

Amnesty International is also concerned by any ban that specifically targets refugees or prevents vulnerable people from reaching safety — as we have seen this past week in the United States. We will continue to stand together with the global community to oppose hateful anti-refugee laws and policies.

As reported by The Algemeiner, the ongoing global debate over Trump’s executive order has drawn attention to the discrimination displayed by some Muslim-majority nations against Israeli citizens.

Photos showing the list of 16 nations — including Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen — have gone viral on Facebook. As some commentators have pointed out, this group includes six of the seven countries targeted by Trump’s action.

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