Al-Haq, B’Tselem Receive the 2018 Human Rights Award of the French Republic

Paris, MINA — The Palestinian human rights organization, Al-Haq, and the Israeli rights group, B’Tselem, were named on Monday as recipients of the 2018 Human Rights Award of the French Republic, WAFA reported.

The prize was awarded by the French Minister of Justice, Nicole Belloubet, and the President of the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH), Christine Lazerges, in ceremony held at the Ministry of Justice in Paris on International Human Rights Day, December 10, which marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

Both organizations were among this year’s five laureates that included human rights defenders from China, Colombia, Niger and Belarus and who were being harassed or pressured for defending and promoting human rights in their countries.

General Director of Al-Haq, Shawan Jabarin said, “It is a great honor for Al-Haq to receive this prestigious award jointly with our colleagues at B’Tselem, who are our partners in the struggle for justice and a better future free from oppression and occupation. Together, we are working to end the culture of impunity so that Palestinians can enjoy the full realization of their human rights.”

B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad said, “It is a particularly special honor to receive this award – together with our colleagues from Al-Haq – on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We, at B’Tselem and Al-Haq, share the same values and the same realization: that only by ending the occupation can there be a future based on human rights, equality and liberty.”

He said: “The occupation, in and of itself, is organized, prolonged, state violence, which brings about dispossession, killings, and oppression. All branches of the state are part of it: ministers and judges, officers and planners, parliamentarians and bureaucrats. Those who lead the opposition to this unjust reality are human rights organizations – precisely because we categorically reject violence and harm to civilians.”

El-Ad also addressed the pressure that Israeli government officials tried to exert on decision-makers in France: “The hysterical response by Israeli government officials, attempting to prevent this prize from being awarded, illustrates the reality within which we work: propaganda, lies, and threats by a government which believes that silencing and cover-up will enable further human rights violations. In the face of this moral bankruptcy, we are here not only to further expose the truth – but also to bring an end to the injustice.” (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)