GENEVA (6 September 2023) – UN experts* today urged Israeli authorities to reverse the conviction of an imprisoned Palestinian aid worker Mohammed El-Halabi for alleged terrorism-related charges and ensure his immediate release.
“Mr. El-Halabi’s conviction and 12-year prison sentence are based on deeply flawed proceedings and egregious violations of the right to a fair trial, including the lack of evidence against him presented in open court, the extensive use of secret evidence, closed-door hearings, restricted communication with his lawyer, severe restrictions on the lawyer for the preparation of his defence, and the failure to try him without undue delay,” the experts said.
“By convicting and imprisoning Mr. El-Halabi, Israel has not achieved its purported aim of deterring any act of terrorism,” said the experts. “Instead, by this act, Israel is violating international law and aggravating the coercive environment for Palestinians under occupation, by using “counter-terrorism” legislation to silence, penalise and punish Palestinians who engage in legitimate human rights and humanitarian work.”