Tell the PA: free speech is not a crime


Sign the letter to President Abbas and Fateh Central Committee Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh: Drop the charges against Palestinian Human Rights Defender Issa Amro!

Dear President Abbas and Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh,

It is appalling that the Palestinian Authority is putting Human Rights Defender Issa Amro on trial for peacefully voicing his opinion.

On Thursday 28 March, 2019 Amro will appear in PA court for a Facebook post from 2017 in which he said that the Palestinian Authority should not be arresting journalists criticizing the government. For this Amro is facing up to two years in prison and a fine.

Amro is well known for his human rights work to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and remove the fanatical and violent illegal settlers from Hebron. But last month, rather than supporting Amro, Fatah released a press statement urging civil society organizations in Hebron to boycott Amro and his colleagues at Youth Against Settlements, warning those who don’t abide that they would face retribution.

Amro has received death threats on social media and over the phone from supporters of Fatah, such that he fears for his life and personal safety. The PA has also threatened those close to Amro that they must stop working with him Amro and Youth Against Settlements (YAS).

It is shocking that the PA and Fatah, rather than supporting Amro’s work against the occupation and for the protection of his own people, are threatening and prosecuting him. This is shameful and counter to the international values of freedom, justice, and equality.

Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International Saleh Higazi said of the PA’s prosecution of Amro:

“It is disgraceful that Issa Amro is facing a prison term simply for expressing his views promoting human rights online. The Palestinian authorities should drop all charges against him immediately. Criticising an official should never be a crime. If imprisoned Issa Amro would be a Prisoner of Conscience.”

Amro is charged with disturbing “public order” under Palestine’s draconian Electronic Crimes Law, “causing strife” and “insulting the higher authorities” under the 1960 Jordanian Penal code, still enforced in the West Bank.

We call on your as president of the Palestinian Authority to immediately see that all charges are dropped against Amro and see that his safety, and the safety of Youth Against Settlements and everyone working with them, is protected. We also call on you to see that the PA and Fatah support Amro and Youth Against Settlements nonviolent work to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and human rights abuses endured by the Palestinian people.


Who's signing

David McCarthy
Trisha Kiersey
Tony Burton
S. Barnhart
Evelyn Bartolmai
Vincent Royon
Mike McCool
Brigitte Linnebach
Rocio Campos Angla
Rocio Campos
russ ziegler
Leray Solange
Lilian Patey
Judith Polson
Richard Llewellin
Laura Ottaviani
William Anderson
Esther Riley
Francis Brady
John Roadknight
Simon Baker
Michela Callegari
Irma Bulfin
Huw Spanner
Kathryn Sullivan
sally davies
Jackie Lewis
Muhammad Rahman
1,750 signatures

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Showing 1627 reactions

  • David McCarthy
    signed 2019-03-28 11:49:24 -0400
  • Trisha Kiersey
    signed 2019-03-28 11:46:39 -0400
  • Tony Burton
    signed 2019-03-28 11:43:20 -0400
  • S. Barnhart
    signed 2019-03-28 11:40:14 -0400
  • Evelyn Bartolmai
    signed via 2019-03-28 11:39:34 -0400
  • Vincent Royon
    signed 2019-03-28 11:35:57 -0400
  • Mike McCool
    signed 2019-03-28 11:35:02 -0400
  • Brigitte Linnebach
    signed 2019-03-28 11:22:06 -0400
  • Rocio Campos Angla
    signed 2019-03-28 11:18:01 -0400
  • Rocio Campos Angla
    @rociocangla tweeted link to this page. 2019-03-28 11:16:47 -0400
    Dear @AbbasPresident & Fatah @DrShtayyeh: free speech is not a crime. The PA must drop the charges against Palestinian Human Rights Defender @IssaAmroAmro's work to end Israel's occupation & human rights abuses should be supported! #StandWithIssa
  • Rocio Campos
    signed 2019-03-28 11:16:38 -0400
  • russ ziegler
    signed 2019-03-28 11:10:46 -0400
    russ ziegler
  • Leray Solange
    signed 2019-03-28 11:09:56 -0400
  • Lilian Patey
    signed 2019-03-28 11:07:57 -0400
  • Laura Ottaviani
    @LauraOttaviani2 tweeted link to this page. 2019-03-28 11:05:57 -0400
    Dear @AbbasPresident & Fatah @DrShtayyeh: free speech is not a crime. The PA must drop the charges against Palestinian Human Rights Defender @IssaAmroAmro's work to end Israel's occupation & human rights abuses should be supported! #StandWithIssa
  • Judith Polson
    signed 2019-03-28 11:05:03 -0400
  • Richard Llewellin
    signed 2019-03-28 11:04:48 -0400
    Richard Llewellin
  • Laura Ottaviani
    signed 2019-03-28 11:03:44 -0400
  • William Anderson
    signed via 2019-03-28 11:03:35 -0400
  • Esther Riley
    signed 2019-03-28 11:01:41 -0400
  • Francis Brady
    signed 2019-03-28 11:00:04 -0400
  • John Roadknight
    signed 2019-03-28 10:54:47 -0400
  • Simon Baker
    signed 2019-03-28 10:44:09 -0400
  • Michela Callegari
    signed 2019-03-28 10:36:32 -0400
  • Irma Bulfin
    signed 2019-03-28 10:33:23 -0400
    Irma Bulfin
  • Huw Spanner
    signed 2019-03-28 10:25:32 -0400
  • Kathryn Sullivan
    signed 2019-03-28 10:21:46 -0400
  • sally davies
    signed 2019-03-28 10:20:16 -0400
  • Jackie Lewis
    signed 2019-03-28 10:19:14 -0400
  • Muhammad Rahman
    signed 2019-03-28 10:17:55 -0400
    Muhammad Obaidur Rahman