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

Jane Macintosh
Hilal Sala
Mary Newbery
Chandler Davis
Thomas Grill
Matthias Hess
Kevin Mc Quillan
Akhter Moosa
Ruth Ewald Archer
Mark Hollinrake
Andrew Henderson
Jane Clare
Jim Head
Derek Bird
Rev. Marcia L. Hoffman
John Rogers
Akhrib Florence
Marianne Stockmarr
Bud Hensgen
Jim Purdy
David Mayer
Thomas Rice
Tim Barlow
Ana Talbot Meling
Don Fodor
Ana Marton
Amjed Manasrah
Susan Ruzic
1,750 signatures

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Showing 1627 reactions

  • Jane Macintosh
    signed 2019-03-27 11:55:55 -0400
  • Kevin Mc Quillan
    @CraoibhRua tweeted link to this page. 2019-03-27 11:55:41 -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
  • Hilal Sala
    signed 2019-03-27 11:55:26 -0400
  • Mary Newbery
    signed 2019-03-27 11:55:20 -0400
  • Chandler Davis
    signed 2019-03-27 11:55:19 -0400
  • Thomas Grill
    signed 2019-03-27 11:55:08 -0400
  • Matthias Hess
    signed 2019-03-27 11:54:57 -0400
  • Kevin Mc Quillan
    signed 2019-03-27 11:54:57 -0400
  • Akhter Moosa
    signed 2019-03-27 11:54:40 -0400
  • Ruth Ewald Archer
    signed 2019-03-27 11:53:48 -0400
  • Mark Hollinrake
    signed 2019-03-27 11:53:26 -0400
  • Andrew Henderson
    signed 2019-03-27 11:53:21 -0400
  • Jane Clare
    signed 2019-03-27 11:52:55 -0400
    We need more people like Issa Amro. I cannot believe the PA is doing Israel’s dirty work for them. Isn’t there enough to worry about, with Israel’s latest heavy handed retaliation for one Hamas rocket from Gaza? And Trump’s encouraging Israel to claim the Golan Heights as theirs by right? Issa helps to keep the plight of the Palestinians known in the West. He should be lauded, not prosecuted. PA, get together with Hamas to get Palestine recognised as a state, then we might have some strength. Divided we fall.
  • John Rogers
    @Rogers59Jp tweeted link to this page. 2019-03-27 11:52:42 -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
  • Jim Head
    signed 2019-03-27 11:52:35 -0400
  • Derek Bird
    signed 2019-03-27 11:52:32 -0400
  • Rev. Marcia L. Hoffman
    signed 2019-03-27 11:52:17 -0400
  • John Rogers
    signed 2019-03-27 11:52:10 -0400
  • Akhrib Florence
    signed 2019-03-27 11:51:58 -0400
    Free Issa Amro !!
  • Marianne Stockmarr
    signed 2019-03-27 11:51:54 -0400
  • Bud Hensgen
    signed 2019-03-27 11:51:50 -0400
  • Jim Purdy
    signed 2019-03-27 11:51:39 -0400
  • David Mayer
    signed 2019-03-27 11:51:33 -0400
    David Mayer
  • Thomas Rice
    signed 2019-03-27 11:51:05 -0400
    This is a disgrace that Isso has to defend himself against the Israeli courts and now the PA. Speaking out against Israel or any nation is not a crime!
  • Tim Barlow
    signed 2019-03-27 11:51:00 -0400
  • Ana Talbot Meling
    signed 2019-03-27 11:50:48 -0400
  • Don Fodor
    signed 2019-03-27 11:50:42 -0400
  • Ana Marton
    signed 2019-03-27 11:50:30 -0400
    Ana Marton
  • Amjed Manasrah
    signed 2019-03-27 11:50:03 -0400
  • Susan Ruzic
    signed 2019-03-27 11:49:58 -0400