Release Date: 15 March 2009 

(Jerusalem) – As kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit approaches 1,000 days in captivity and efforts continue to secure his release, Jerusalem based research organization NGO Monitor today highlighted the almost total silence and inaction of human rights NGOs over his fate.  

Shalit was kidnapped from Israeli territory in June 2006.  He has been denied even one visit by the International Red Cross, a grave contravention of one of the foundations of international humanitarian law.

In contrast to their intense condemnation of events in Gaza over the past few years, major international human rights NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Oxfam have released no more than a token demand for Shalit’s release and then only in the context of wider issues.  Israeli human rights organization B’tselem has been equally neglectful, failing to highlight Shalit’s fate during the recent Gaza conflict.   

Similarly, Amnesty International, an organization founded to campaign on behalf of political prisoners, has displayed only marginal willingness to promote Shalit’s cause.  Beyond isolated examples, Amnesty has done nothing to campaign for Shalit’s fundamental human rights.

NGO Monitor’s Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg said, “Gilad Shalit has been denied even the most basic of human rights for almost 1,000 days.  The unwillingness of human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’tselem to campaign on his behalf is immoral.  Their shameful silence on Shalit’s fate amounts to a betrayal of universal human rights”.     

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Editors Notes:

NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations.  For more information, see our website at

http://www.ngo-monitor.org 

Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:-

Amnesty’s Gaza ‘Report’ and calls for arms embargo: Abolishing Israel’s right to self-defense   – February 25, 2009

The NGO Front in the Gaza War – February 5, 2009

NGO ‘Lawfare’:  Exploitation of Courts in the Arab-Israeli Conflict – October 8, 2008

NGO Monitor's Executive Director is, Prof. Gerald Steinberg.

Members of NGO Monitor’s International Advisory Board include Elie Wiesel, Prof Alan Dershowitz, Sir Martin Gilbert and R. James Woolsey
 

For further information, comment or interviews contact Dan Kosky

+972 (0) 546-305-504

NGO Monitor – 1, Ben Maimon Blvd. - Jerusalem 92262 -   Israel – T: +972-2-566-1020

F: +972-77-511-7030

E: dan.kosky@ngo-monitor.org