Buona notizia, accolta la petizione dei nove volontari respinti da israele
da Luisa Morgantini
ogni tanto una buona notizia. Il centro per i diritti umani arabo
israeliano di Adalah ha vinto la petizione presentate al tribunale di
Nazareth contro il diniego di entrata di nove volontari (tra i quali alcuni
dello sci)in un progetto di scambio. La motivazione di Adalah era con il
comportamento del Ministero degli interni israeliano violava gli accordi di
Piccole gioie, ma fondamentali.vi allego in inglese il tutto.
28 May 2003
Adalah Demands that Euro-Med Youth Volunteers Be Granted Entry to Israel
Today, Adalah submitted a petition to the Nazareth District Court on behalf
of nine members of the European Voluntary Service (EVS) Program and Baladna
- Association for Arab Youth, against the Ministry of Interior. In the
petition, Adalah requested that the Ministry of Interior allow the nine
volunteers to enter Israel and issue them new three-month tourist visas.
Adalah also filed a motion for an immediate hearing in the case.
The volunteers, from six European countries, came to Israel in February
2003 for a six-month youth exchange program under the auspices of the
Euro-Med Youth Programme. The program is intended to contribute to
realizing the objectives set forth in the 1995 Barcelona Declaration,
signed by 27 European and Mediterranean countries, including Israel. In
cooperation with local host organizations, the volunteers have been
involved in a range of activities in Haifa, East Jerusalem and Hebron,
including work with disabled children and unemployed youth, as well as
assisting with a variety of social ad cultural projects.
The Israel Youth Exchange Council, national coordinator for the Euro-Med
Youth Programme in Israel, provided full details of the volunteers'
intended activities to the Ministry of Interior, prior to their arrival in
February 2003. Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, the volunteers were each
issued three-month tourist visas, although the European Commission had
requested six-month visas for them.
Following the expiration of these visas, they traveled to Jordan for one
week. On 11 May 2003 they attempted to return to Israel via the Allenby
Bridge, where they were denied entry to the country, in addition to being
subjected to an intensive and humiliating search of their persons and
luggage. No reason was given for the denial of entry; the volunteers remain
In the petition, submitted by Adalah Staff Attorney Abeer Baker, Adalah
argued that the decision to prevent the volunteers from entering Israel
violates Israel's commitments under the Barcelona Declaration. Further,
Adalah argued that the Ministry of Interior exercised its discretion in an
arbitrary manner, without any criteria and without providing any reasons to
justify its decision to deny the volunteers entry to Israel.
The Ministry of Interior's decision must be based on reasonable
considerations and verified information. The arbitrary nature of the
Ministry's refusal to allow the volunteers to enter the country contradicts
its stated policy on this issue, as expressed in a letter received by
Adalah in April 2002. In the letter, the Ministry stated that its policy is
to allow humanitarian workers to enter Israel, but that it has the right to
deny entry to anyone whose purpose is not clear, or who has not coordinated
their arrival in advance. In this case, both of these conditions were
satisfied, and the volunteers did not deviate from their declared program
The denial of entry to the volunteers has caused and is continuing to cause
damage to the local Arab host organizations in Haifa East Jerusalem and
Hebron, and violates their right to freedom of association. These
organizations have been forced to suspend planned activities involving the
volunteers, and have incurred numerous expenses related to this case. Most
importantly, the beneficiaries of the programs, who depend on the services
being provided by the volunteers, are also suffering.
Adalah stressed that denying entry to the volunteers could have
far-reaching implications on Israel's future cooperation with the European
Union, and could lead to the cancellation of the EVS program.
::: Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel :::
www.adalah.org :: adalah at adalah.org
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