Support for human rights defenders is an integral part of the European Union’s policy on human rights.
Two weeks ago, the Israeli authorities decided to revoke the work visa of Mr Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Country Director of Human Rights Watch. The European Union expects the Israeli authorities to reverse their decision, as otherwise Israel would join a very short list of countries which have barred entry to, or expelled, Human Rights Watch staff.
In addition, it will also be important, as supported by the Israeli government, to conduct a swift investigation into circumstances surrounding events last week in Haifa which appeared to result in serious injury of Jafar Farah, Director of the NGO Mossawa, the Advocacy Centre for Arab Citizens in Israel.
The European Union continues to stand for an open and conducive environment for civil society, within Europe, in Israel, the occupied Palestinian territory and around the world.