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PCHR Condemns ISS Ban on Travel by Trade Union Delegation.

PNN The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns an illegal decision by the Internal Security Service (ISS) to prevent a delegation of trade unions from travelling through Rafah International Crossing Point. PCHR calls upon the Attorney General and the government in the Gaza Strip to intervene to put an end to the use of such measures and ensure respect for the right to freedom of movement, which is guaranteed under the constitution and international human rights standards. According to information obtained by PCHR from members of the delegation, on 28 February 2013, a delegation comprised of 28 persons, representing 14 trade union organisations, attempted to leave through Rafah International Crossing Point to travel to Egypt. The delegation was due to participate in a series of meetings, which were being held by the Executive Committee of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), under the auspices of International Labour Organization (ILO). Upon arrival at the crossing point, the delegation was informed by ISS officers that they were not permitted to travel, and advised to refer to the Ministry of Labour in the Gaza Strip. PCHR was informed that the ILO had made contact with the authorities in Gaza, and received confirmation that members of the delegation would be permitted to travel on the following day. On 01 March 2013, the delegation travelled to the crossing point a second time, but ISS officers prevented 17 members of the delegation from travelling. Meetings of the Executive Committee of PGFTU bring together trade union members from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These meetings are held in Cairo, as the Israeli-imposed closure of the Gaza Strip and restrictions on the freedom of movement of the Palestinian people render it impossible for the meetings to be held in the occupied Palestinian territory. PCHR condemns the ISS decision to members of the delegation from travelling, and: 1) Calls upon the Attorney General to put an end to the use of such measures and ensure respect for the right to freedom of movement, as guaranteed under the constitution and international human rights standards; 2) Stresses that a decision to prevent travel and restrict the right to freedom of movement can only be made by judicial order, in accordance with Article 11-2 of the Palestinian Basic Law; 3) Views these additional restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons as unacceptable, as they add to the restrictions already imposed on the people of the Gaza Strip by Israel's closure of the territory; 4) Calls upon the government and security services in Gaza to respect international human rights standards, the Palestinian Basic Law, and all other applicable laws.

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Publication:Palestine News Network (West Bank, Palestine)
Date:Mar 6, 2013
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