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

helen marks
Mehjouba Dahmani
Manijeh Sadri
John Najemy
Peter Balaam
William A. Imhof
Ddavid Hubert
Dru Greene
Louise Lewis
Richard Wise
Richard Glanville
Graham Noble
Frank Keaney
Eriberto Soto
Dawn Albanese
Alison Phillips
Ruth Fruchtman
Annie Tunnicliffe
David Herbert
Theresa Mansbridge
Elaine Donovan
Keven Mundy
Pirooz Daneshmandi
Margaret Barratt
Clifford Provost
Denis Rail
Anna Engdahl
Rachel Vanneste
Sam Smith
1,750 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 1627 reactions

  • helen marks
    signed 2019-03-27 11:49:28 -0400
    helen marks
  • Mehjouba Dahmani
    signed 2019-03-27 11:48:50 -0400
  • Manijeh Sadri
    signed 2019-03-27 11:48:41 -0400
  • John Najemy
    signed 2019-03-27 11:48:36 -0400
    The Palestinian Authority and all Palestinians organizations should be about freedom.
  • Richard Wise
    @revrwise tweeted link to this page. 2019-03-27 11:48:25 -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
  • Peter Balaam
    signed 2019-03-27 11:48:16 -0400
  • William A. Imhof
    signed 2019-03-27 11:48:05 -0400
  • Ddavid Hubert
    signed 2019-03-27 11:47:55 -0400
  • Dru Greene
    signed 2019-03-27 11:47:41 -0400
    How can we defend the human rights of Palestinians when Palestine itself will not?
  • Louise Lewis
    signed 2019-03-27 11:47:29 -0400
  • Richard Wise
    signed 2019-03-27 11:47:27 -0400
    I really want to do all I can to support the Palestinian people to gain the freedom which is your right. I am for you. Please do not make victims of your own people or deny free speech – leave that to Israel.
  • Richard Glanville
    signed 2019-03-27 11:47:25 -0400
  • Graham Noble
    signed 2019-03-27 11:46:56 -0400
    Whose side are the PA on?
  • Frank Keaney
    signed 2019-03-27 11:46:43 -0400
  • Eriberto Soto
    signed 2019-03-27 11:46:37 -0400
    Eriberto Soto
  • Dawn Albanese
    signed 2019-03-27 11:46:35 -0400
    Dawn Albanese
  • Alison Phillips
    signed 2019-03-27 11:46:07 -0400
  • Ruth Fruchtman
    signed 2019-03-27 11:46:05 -0400
    Ruth Fruchtman
  • Annie Tunnicliffe
    signed 2019-03-27 11:46:04 -0400
    What a shameful and ironic situation – this man should be congratulated not persecuted
  • David Herbert
    signed 2019-03-27 11:46:01 -0400
  • Theresa Mansbridge
    signed 2019-03-27 11:45:46 -0400
  • Elaine Donovan
    signed 2019-03-27 11:45:43 -0400
  • Keven Mundy
    signed 2019-03-27 11:45:35 -0400
  • Pirooz Daneshmandi
    signed 2019-03-27 11:45:32 -0400
  • Margaret Barratt
    signed 2019-03-27 11:45:02 -0400
  • Clifford Provost
    signed 2019-03-27 11:44:50 -0400
  • Denis Rail
    signed 2019-03-27 11:44:50 -0400
    Denis Rail
  • Anna Engdahl
    signed 2019-03-27 11:44:23 -0400
    Anna Engdahl
  • Rachel Vanneste
    signed 2019-03-27 11:44:19 -0400
  • Sam Smith
    signed 2019-03-27 11:43:48 -0400
    Sam Smith