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Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR)

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Websitehttp://lphr.org.uk/
Founded1988
In their own words“A legal charity in the UK that works on projects focused on protecting and promoting Palestinian human rights.”

Funding

Activities

  • Aims to “effect a positive transformation of the urgent and critical human rights situation for Palestinians.”
  • Seeks to achieve its goals through “a combination of: legal advice and support; human rights and international law education and advocacy; research, monitoring and urgent actions on rights violations; public policy and lobbying; and utilising human rights complaint mechanisms of domestic and international institutions.”

Political Advocacy

  • Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) runs a project titled “Protect Human Rights Defenders” to “support harassed or detained Palestinian human rights defenders by submitting cases to the UN and EU member states.” Examples of these “human rights defenders” include Omar Shakir, Omar Barghouti, Manal Tamimi, and Khalida Jarrar.
  • Since December 2013, LPHR has been partnering with Defence for Children International Palestine (DCP-I) for an ongoing campaign titled “Know Your Rights,” seeking to “inform Palestinian children who are arrested, detained, interrogated and tried through the Israeli Military Court system of their legal rights throughout the entire process.” The campaign relies on an inaccurate March 2013 UNICEF report that alleged “widespread, systematic and institutionalized” ill-treatment of children within the system. LPHR omits that Israel established a military juvenile tribunal, which entitles minors to significantly better conditions than adults. The group also disregards the circumstances that may have led to such arrests, such as terror activity and violence.
  • In September 2018, LPHR was a signatory on a letter to the ICC Prosecutor to “End Impunity and Open Investigation on Palestine.” According to the letter, “The situation in Palestine is rapidly deteriorating and war crimes and crimes against humanity are allegedly frequently committed to entrench Israeli control over Palestinian territory and the Palestinian people. This year marked 51 years since the beginning of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory and so far it has been characterized by complete impunity” (emphasis added).
  • In May 2018, LPHR signed on a call to the UN Human Rights Council to launch an “independent investigation into violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by Israel” in response to Gaza-border violence. The call accuses Israel of “excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of lethal force… [that] may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity” (emphasis added). The call ignored the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel.
  • In September 2017, LPHR participated in a panel titled “Prisoners’ Health in Israel and Palestine” at Medact’s conference, “Health Through Peace.” The panel, which included Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP) and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), discussed the “various political and social conditions endured by Palestinians” and accused Israel of “breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law.”
  • In June 2017, LPHR, alongside Amnesty International UK and Medical Aid for Palestinians, held an event titled “Accountability and Human Rights at 50 Years of Occupation” featuring Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur “on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.” At the event, Lynk stated that while as Special Rapporteur he does not take a position on BDS, he added that he will defend BDS as a movement entitled to freedom of expression or speech as it is “only though the creative activism and the enlightened conscious that will be a major factor in bringing this conflict to a successful conclusion…”
  • In August 2015, LPHR, along with groups including the National Lawyers GuildInternational Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), Amnesty internationalCenter for Constitutional Rights, FIDH, and Jewish Voice for Peacesigned a statement supporting a call by the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) to the international community to “act on the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict.” In particular, the groups called for the international community to “exercise universal jurisdiction to try international crimes in national courts.”
  • LPHR, together with Al Mezan and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), submitted a February 6, 2015 joint public statement to the UN following the 2014 Gaza war, falsely accusing Israel of “repeated apparent deliberate or reckless targeting of medical infrastructure and personnel by the Israeli military,” “apparent unjustifiable obstruction of emergency medical access to the injured,” and “serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.” The letter altogether omits the countless violations of international law by Hamas, such as rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, terror tunnels running beneath the border into Israel, and Hamas’ systematic exploitation of civilians and civilian strHuman rights defuctures illegally shield their operations.
  • In August 2014, Director of LPHR Tareq Shrourou co-published a letter in The Guardian, accusing Israel of committing “war crimes” and urging the British government to “publicly condemn” Israel’s “brutally destructive military campaign” and “deliberate targeting of family residential homes.”
  • Submitted an October 22, 2014 open letter to U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond accusing Israeli military forces of using a Palestinian child as a human shield during the 2014 Gaza war. While LPHR makes the unsubstantiated allegation of Israel’s use of a human shield, it ignores the repeated and widely documented use of human shields by Hamas operatives in Gaza.
  • In October 2014, LPHR member Jinan Bastaki published a blog post advocating for a Palestinian “right of return,” which, if implemented, would effectually mean the elimination of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

BDS Activities

  • Promotes BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions).
  • In February 2018, LPHR signed a statement supporting the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel. According to the statement, “the Database should be a mechanism that assists states in meeting their obligations under international law, including the obligation not to recognize as lawful – even implicitly ­– the illegal situation created by Israeli settlements and not to contribute to maintaining this illegal situation.”
  • In February 2017, LPHR wrote a letter to the UK Secretary of State asking that the UK government “reconsiders and changes its current position of not supporting the development of a business and human rights database by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights which will list companies involved in settlement activities that adversely impact Palestinian human rights” as it is “in stark contrast to the government’s long-standing approach to the illegality of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
  • In October 2016, LPHR wrote a letter to the UK Foreign Secretary requesting that the UK government “carefully reconsiders its current position of supporting the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism agreement” as the agreement “effectively perpetuates and gives tacit approval to the nearly decade old illegal closure imposed on Gaza by successive Israeli governments.”
  • In September 2016, Director of LPHR Tareq Shrourou was a signatory on a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Chairman of FIFA’s Israel Palestine Monitoring Committee Tokyo Sexwale stating that it is “unconscionable that FIFA should explicitly or implicitly continue to endorse the situation…which manifestly undermines respect for the international rule of law and basic human rights for Palestinians,” and called for FIFA to “withdraw its vital consent for football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements to play in the Israeli football league.”
  • In December 2015, Shrourou was a signatory on a letter to Members of European Parliament calling on the European Union to “withhold incoming as well as outgoing trade with settlements in compliance with the duty of non-recognition…Trading with settlements constitutes implicit recognition and is a violation of international law.”
  • In October 2015, LPHR stated that it “does not take a policy on BDS in relation to Israel proper, but we do take a considered policy position that the UK government should withhold incoming and outgoing trade with illegal Israeli settlements as a matter of compliance with their fundamental legal obligations.”
  • In November 2014, LPHR was a signatory on a call to the European Union to “suspend its Association Agreement with Israel until it complies with international law” as the EU is “contributing to the climate of impunity and lack of accountability… the EU is providing material support to Israel’s violations of international law and failing to uphold its own commitments under international law.”
  • In June 2014, LPHR, represented by lawyers Leigh Day, filed a complaint against security company G4S, claiming it has “breached the obligation to respect human rights of those affected by their activities.”

Lack of Verifiable Sources

  • In June 2015, LPHR, along with Al-Mezan and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), released “No More Impunity: Gaza’s Health Sector Under Attack.” The publication alleged the “destruction of and damage to medical infrastructure and loss of life and injury to civilians and medical personnel” during the 2014 Gaza conflict. Like previous publications from these NGOs, “No More Impunity” is characterized by one-sided accounts, a total lack of verifiable sources, and lack of context. In addition, LPHR and its partners erase the terror affiliation of three “paramedics” and “medical volunteers” who were killed in an Israeli strike.

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