World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) (Geneva)
- In 2020, total income was 3.9 million Swiss francs (CHF); total expenses were CHF 3.8 million.
- Donors include Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Netherlands, United States, European Commission, Liechtenstein, UNICEF, Bread for the World (Germany), National Endowment for Democracy (United States), Open Society Foundation, Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK), and the Oak Foundation.
- In 2021-2022, OMCT received 1.5 million Danish kroner from Denmark.
- In 2021-2023, OMCT received $1.4 million from the Open Society Foundation.
- In 2021-2024, OMCT received £525,000 from the Sigrid Rausing Trust (United Kingdom).
- In 2020, OMCT received €65,000 from Ireland.
- In 2019, OMCT was an implementing partner on two projects with the European Union titled “The European Union human rights defenders mechanism: protectdefenders.EU” (€15 million) and “The EU emergency fund for human rights defenders at risk” (€3.3 million).
- The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) is a Geneva based coalition of NGOs comprising 311 local, national and regional organizations “fighting against arbitrary detention, torture, summary and extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances and other forms of violence.”
- Created the “Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders” with the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) to “offer concrete and personalised assistance via international fact-finding missions, judicial observation and support missions, solidarity missions, and the granting of material assistance to defenders and defender organisations.”
- OMCT makes numerous submissions each year to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment(CAT). In 2014, OMCT launched an initiative to “mobilise and coordinate the activities of civil society organisations in relation to the CAT Convention and its Committee” by “supporting their actions, public outreach and campaigning at the national level, and their interaction with CAT and other UN mechanisms at the international level.”
- The United Nations Committee Against Torture links to OMCT’s website on its homepage, providing it and other selected NGOs free advertising and promotion. The privileging of OMCT and these other organizations on an official UN website is done without oversight or transparency.
- In October 2022, OMCT was a signatory on a statement calling for the release of Salah Hamouri.
- In August 2022, OMCT signed a joint statement condemning the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs, including its member Al-Haq, as terrorist organizations. The statement called for the international community to “take effective measures to end all other actions that deny Palestinians their inalienable human rights” and to “their support and increase funding to the organizations and engage with financial institutions to ensure the transfer of funds to the organizations.”
- In October 2021, OMCT condemned the decision, stating, “This designation is a sinister first, which puts the future of child protection, rights of prisoners and the ability to document violations of standards accepted by Israel at imminent risk. Equating the defence of rights with terrorism is also a slap in the face of global efforts to counter real terrorist violence.”
- In January 2022, OMCT signed a joint letter urging the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to “Review and reverse the decision of the previous government to end funding for UAWC – and resume UAWC’s funding without delay.”
- In October 2021, OMCT called to “unconditionally release” Health Work Committees (HWC) General Director Shatha Odeh and “ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without any hindrance and fear of reprisals.”
- On July 7, 2021, Israel arrested Odeh for her alleged involvement in terror activity. Following her arrest, the IDF closed HWC’s offices for six months.
- In April 2021, OMCT and FIDH published a report entitled “Target Locked: The Unrelenting Israeli Smear Campaigns to Discredit Human Rights Groups in Israel, Palestine, and the Syrian Golan” that accused Israel of “slander,” “smear and harassment tactics,” and “abusing the legitimate fight against terrorism to drastically reduce civic space and silence critical voices” and called for Israel to “refrain from….defamation such as terrorism and anti-Semitism labelling.” The report ignored the overwhelming evidence of ties between many of the cited Palestinian NGOs and the PFLP terror group.
- The report further called for EU Member States to “publicly reaffirm the right of individuals and entities to participate in and call for boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) measures to protests against the Israeli governments’ international human rights law and international humanitarian law violations.” The report also called on UN Member States to “to enable the work of the OHCHR, via all adequate means, in fulfilling its mandate of annually updating the database of all business enterprises involved in Israeli settlement activities.”
- The report also makes numerous false accusations against NGO Monitor.
- In January 2017, Pierre Galand, President of OMCT-Europe, issued a press release on behalf of the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) calling for the arrest of Tzipi Livni for “war crimes and crimes against humanity,” as she was “responsible for the decisions taken during the Operation Cast Lead.”
- In December 2016, signed a joint statement alleging that individuals and organizations “working on Palestinian human rights” are “facing intensifying threats.” The statement condemned attacks in “total aim to silence and undermine any resistance to Israel’s unlawful policies…and should rather be examined within the broader context of impunity in Israel itself.”
- In November 2016, OMCT signed a joint letter calling for the European Union and Horizon 2020 to “immediately stop funding the LAWTRAIN project,” a program in partnership with Israel, Belgium, Portugal, and Spain. The letter drew attention to the “illegality of financing an Israeli entity which is headquartered in Occupied East Jerusalem, namely the Israeli police” as this “entity is in charge of the national police and the prison services, both responsible for serious human rights violations.”
- In May 2016, OMCT participated at the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) periodic review of Israel, presenting unverified testimony and invented new standards of torture to further its political goal of demonizing and marginalizing Israel.
- In March 2016, OMCT and Defense for Children International–Palestine (DCI-P) submitted a joint report to the UN Committee Against Torture, alleging “widespread and systematic ill-treatment and torture and the excessive use of force by Israeli forces.” The report makes numerous false and misleading claims about the IDF and Israeli Military Courts. (Read NGO Monitor’s report “No Way to Represent a Child: Defense for Children International Palestine’s Distortions of the Israeli Justice System.”)
- Pierre Galand, president of OMCT-Europe, is alsothe president of Association Belgo-Palestinienne (ABP) and the President of ECCP (a Brussels-based association of NGOs cooperating with the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People). Galand was the general coordinator of the Russell Tribunal (a court that uses a legal façade to create an image of neutrality and credibility, and to accuse Israel of “apartheid,” “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and “genocide”) and the former head of Oxfam-Belgium (one of the leaders in the demonization campaign against Israel), and is a former Belgian Senator.
- Galand is a prominent figure in BDS and lawfare campaigns against Israel.
- Galand has been involved in promoting BDS campaigns in Belgium since 2005 (see NGO Monitor’s report, “European Coordinating Committee of NGOs [ECCP] Meeting to Promote Boycotts and Divestment.”)
- In 2002, Galand was expelled from Israel, together with seven other Belgian activists, under suspicion that they would “likely  disturb the peace.”
- In a 2018 interview in the Belgian communist party journal, Galand declared that “making Gaza an Auschwitz without crematoriums but organizing the slow death of its citizens is not so far from what the colonizers of today have known in their very long journey enamelled with pogroms.” In addition, Galand affirmed that Zionism is a neo-colonialism stating: “I then understood for example that the famous Balfour declaration of 1922 by which Great Britain gave its agreement to the settlement of the Jewish populations in Palestine requested by the world Zionist organization led by the Rothschild family, was only the neocolonialist draft which we see today to which extremes it can lead.” (Emphasis added). Such declarations are a clear violation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.
- In 2015, Galand accused the Israeli government of applying “to the West Bank the same deadly therapy already used in Gaza in 2009 and 2014.”
- In an April 2016 editorial on ABP’s website, “The dehumanization of the Palestinians,” Galand refers to Gaza as a “big concentration camp” and accuses the “Israeli occupation forces” of kidnapping “1000 children in the last two months of 2015,” without citing any sources for such a claim.
- Addameer is an “affiliate” of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. Several of Addameer’s current and former employees, as well as lawyers that work for Addameer, are linked to the terror group.
- On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared Addameer a “terror organization” because it is part of “a network of organizations” that operates “on behalf of the ‘Popular Front’.”
- Addameer is a leader of campaigns in support of Palestinians prisoners convicted of security offenses, referring to them as “political prisoners” and altogether omitting the context of violence and terror.
- Al-Haq is a leader in anti-Israel “lawfare” campaigns and BDS activities.
- On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared Al-Haq a “terror organization” because it is part of “a network of organizations” that operates “on behalf of the ‘Popular Front’.”
- In May 2018, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express shut down online credit card donations to Al-Haq due to the group’s ties to the PFLP.
- Al-Haq General Director Shawan Jabarin is tied to the PFLP. As a result, his requests for Israeli exit visas have been denied on several occasions, and he has been denied entry by Jordan. In a series of court cases in 2007-2009, the Israeli High Court of Justice found Jabarin to be a senior PFLP activist (2007, 2008, 2009).
- In May 2019, Jabarin attended a memorial event organized by the PFLP. It centered on PFLP political bureau member Rabah Muhanna, who, according to information posted by the PFLP, “contributed to the establishment” of several PFLP-affiliated NGOs. The hall was decorated with PFLP paraphernalia.
- Defence for Children International – Palestine
- Highly active in anti-Israel lawfare campaigns, exploiting courts and international legal bodies to seek arrest warrants against Israeli government officials, file lawsuits against companies and governments doing business with Israel, and lobby for cases against Israelis at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- A number of Al Mezan officials and employees have links to the PFLP and one has ties to Hamas. Additionally, Al-Mezan officials and board members speak at PFLP events, and many have posted material on their social media accounts promoting terror groups or utilizing antisemitic imagery and rhetoric. For more information on Al Mezan’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Al Mezan Center For Human Rights’ Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”
All Articles about World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) (Geneva)