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Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD)

Introduction

In July 2016, a Norwegian court declared the Global Network for Rights and Development bankrupt after another court ordered a NOK 376,000 settlement to a former employee.

In September 2018, GNRD founder Loai Deeb was indicted by the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (ØKOKRIM) for laundering approximately NOK 100 million.

Profile

Country/TerritoryNorway
Websitegnrd.net (Non-functioning)
In their own words“The Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) is an International NGO established in June 2008 with the aim to enhance and support both human rights and development by adopting new strategies and policies for real change.”

Funding

  • In 2014, the Norway headquarters of Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) reported an income of NOK 16.8 million and expenses of NOK 9.5 million. GNRD’s office in Geneva reported total income of CHF 709,000 and total expenses of CHF 317,000 (latest available; accessed September 13, 2018).
  • GNRD does not publish donor information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.
  • According to the EU transparency register, in 2014, GNRD reported a budget of only €4.5 million, mostly from donations and contributions from outside Europe.
    • GNRD was removed from the transparency register in 2017.
  • In November 2015, The Norwegian Control Committee for Fundraising (Innsamlingskontrollen) placed GNRD on its Watch List, recommending “no funding for Human Rights and Development Network, also known as Global Network for Rights and Development.”
  • In December 2015, Innsamlingskontrollen upheld its decision against GNRD and confirmed “accusations against the organizations for money laundering.”

Activities

Fraud and Legal Issues

  • In May 2015, the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (ØKOKRIM) opened an investigation against GNRD and its founder, Loai Deeb, for “money laundering and receiving stolen goods” worth “over 100 million NOK” according to Norwegian media reports.
  • Deeb was also accused of running a fake university in Norway, which closed under threat of legal action from the Norwegian authorities.
  • As noted during a February 2012 session of the NGO Committee of with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Deeb also functioned as General Manager of the Scandinavian Institute for Human Rights and  and Executive Director of Coalition against War Criminals (ICAWC).

Ties to the PA

  • In May 2012, the Jerusalem Post reported on leaked documents that showed “the PA’s General Intelligence Service in the West Bank is planning to use the Global Network for Rights and Development as a front for espionage activities.” According to the Norwegian News Source NRK, “the agreement was that intelligence would finance the organisation’s start-up.”
    • According to the Jerusalem Post, “The plan envisages using GNRD as a front for the establishment of an “effective and credible international human rights group that would be based in Geneva and whose goal would be to defend Palestinian causes” and collect information.”
    • The leaked documents also revealed that a Palestinian intelligence officer was a signatory on a GNRD internal document.

Anti-Israel Activities

  • In October 2014, GNRD co-hosted a “Children in Conflict” conference at the European Parliament, which also featured members of World Vision and Defence for Children International – Palestine. The conference, largely focused on the 2014 Gaza conflict, was a platform for demonization of Israel.
  • In September 2014, at the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council, GNRD and Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development made two submissions, which included the following demonization:
    • “Continuing human rights and humanitarian law violations during military operations to kill civilians and destroy the infrastructure and terrorizing peaceful citizens while undertaking military operations by Israel and the United States.”
    • “Gaza has effectively turned into a horrific human rights and humanitarian nightmare.
    • “The humanitarian crisis is largely the result of indiscriminate bombing of densely populated residential areas and direct targeting of civilians, including children.”
    • “The bombing of infrastructure and factories is a clear attempt to collectively punish the people of Gaza, and constitutes a serious war crime in flagrant violation of international law.”
  • In August 2014, GNRD launched an “Urgent Call on Gaza” campaign, seeking to raise funds to help “combat the injustice that transpired in Gaza.”
  • In March 2013, “GNRD organized the marsh on Palestinian [sic] Land Day (in Tunisia, Tunis)” in order to “promote the human rights of the Palestinian people and to draw international attention to Palestinian issue.”
  • In January 2013, during the 15th UN Universal Periodic Review, GNRD organized a side event titled “Israeli Violations of Human Rights” discussing the “Israeli occupation and its impact on Palestinian’s daily life.”

Gulf Scandals

  • According to reports from 2014, GNRD sought “to thwart Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup, promoting the autocratic UAE as a model of adherence to human rights.”
  • In 2014, in the wake of the arrest of employees in Qatar, an article in Middle East Eye stated that GNRD is “supported by the UAE government for public relations purposes…The GNRD published a fake human rights index last year that wrongly praised the UAE.”

Officials

  • GNRD president  Loai Deeb is a Gaza-born Norwegian. He also founded the International Coalition against War Criminals, which primarily alleged Israeli war crimes, promoted BDS campaigns against Israel, and led “Gaza Probe Missions” after the 2009 Gaza conflict. Deeb was involved in Norwegian lawsuits against Israeli officials.
    • In 2014, Loai Deeb was a signatory on a letter urging the Norwegian government to condemn Israel for “violating international law” and “inhuman politics.” The letter was supported by various Norwegian organization that have promoted political campaigns against Israel, including: Norwegian Peoples Aid, KFUK-KFUM Global, Norwegian Church Aid, Fagforbundet, and Sabeel in Norway.
  • Khalil M J Abu Shammala, director of the Palestinian NGO Al-Dameer, resigned as GNRD board member in 2015 after being indicted by authorities in Gaza.
  • Anne-Marie Lizin, the former GNRD “High Commissioner for Europe” overseeing the department on the rights of women, also served as the President of the Senate of Belgium from 2004 to 2007, and was convicted in appeals court in 2015 in Liege for electoral malpractice.

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