Dozens of NGOs Urge UN Action to Free Gaza Peace Activist Detained by Hamas
Dozens of NGOs issued a joint statement on Monday calling on the UN Human Rights Council to seek the release of a Palestinian peace activist held by Hamas for holding a Zoom meeting with Israelis.
Rami Aman — a 38-year-old journalist from the Gaza Strip — was arrested by Hamas in April for what the Gaza-ruling terrorist group called “holding a normalization activity with the Israeli occupation” after he participated in a two-hour meeting with Israelis titled “Skype With Your Enemy,” which advertised itself as a way to “open a channel of communication between Gazans and Israelis.”
Aman was also a founder of the Gaza Youth Committee, a part of the Alliance for Middle East Peace, which seeks to bring Israelis and Palestinians together to promote reconciliation.
The statement on Aman’s arrest was signed by 70 NGOS, including the Global Human Rights Defense, the Forum Méditerranéen pour la Promotion des Droits du Citoyen and the Japanese Association for the Right to Freedom of Speech, as well as groups from France, Pakistan and Morocco, among other countries. It was accompanied by a complaint registered with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
In the statement delivered before the Human Rights Council by Hillel Neuer, head of the watchdog group UN Watch, the groups said, “Aman has been arbitrarily detained in Gaza for 165 days, in flagrant violation of international law.”
“Our joint complaint demonstrates how the due process rights of Mr. Aman are being egregiously violated,” they noted, pointing out that Aman “has not yet been charged, and never had an opportunity to challenge his detention in court.”
“The detention of Rami Aman constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of liberty on multiple grounds,” the groups charged.
“UN treaty bodies have held the Palestinian Authority responsible for Hamas activity in Gaza,” they concluded. “Will the Working Group hold both accountable?”