France – Switzerland – Germany
25 October 2023
The AOHRNE denounces the pressure of the German, French and Swiss authorities to suppress the declaration of solidarity with Palestine, and
Affirms the right of every human being for free and peaceful assembly, demonstration and expression
Since October 11th, the Berlin’s police have prevented demonstrations of solidarity with the Palestinians, and on Sunday October 15th, they dispersed a peaceful protest – before it began – in Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz due to “the influx of large numbers of people carrying pro-Palestinian slogans” and arrested 127 people. The German authorities also banned the wearing of the Palestinian “keffiyeh” in schools, and the presence of flags and symbols that supporting Palestine became sufficient reason for the authorities to break up demonstrations and marches and to arrest their participants.
Since October 12th, the French government has also banned “all pro-Palestinian demonstrations” claiming that they “could disturb the public order.” 13 people were arrested in Strasbourg, 4 people in Marseille, and one person in Lyon, and fines were imposed on a total of 752 people in Paris, where demonstrations were held in solidarity with Palestine despite the imposed ban.
In Switzerland, pro-Palestinian demonstrations took place amid restrictions and strict security measures in the capital, Bern, and the city of Geneva, while pro-Palestinian demonstrations were not allowed in Basel and Zurich.
This comes at a time when there are no restrictions or bans on pro-“Israel” demonstrations.
The Arab Organization for Human Rights in Northern Europe expresses its denunciation of the pressures of the German, French and Swiss authorities to suppress the freedom of expression and declaration of solidarity of citizens and residents there with the Palestinian cause and the residents of the Gaza Strip, as well as their attempts to blackout and erase the Palestinian identity, its symbols, its tangible and intangible heritage. The AOHRNE stresses that such extreme measures do not fall within the framework of freedom of thought and expression approved by the European Council and the European Court of Human Rights, and contradict with Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which affirms the right of every human being for freedom and peaceful assembly, demonstration and expression.
The AOHRNE calls on the German, French and Swiss authorities to confront and settle issues related to their Nazi and racist history in accordance with the international law and at the expense of their national interests, and not at the expense of the rights and interests of the Palestinian people. The AOHRNE reminds the three countries that human rights values and standards should not be subject to any narrow political calculations.
The AOHRNE calls on the authorities of the three countries to respect their obligations under the 1951 Refugee Protection Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights, and calls on them to immediately stop and prevent attempts to blackmail refugees and residents on their territories to prevent them from expressing their opinions, to stand against the extreme political and media discourse, and promote the values of tolerance, respecting others, and combating racism, xenophobia, and all forms of discrimination based on freedom of thought and opinion, race, or religion.
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