Today, Thursday, 29 November 2018, the delegation of the Palestinian Center for Human rights (PCHR), which include 9 lawyers from PCHR’s Legal Unit within the Bertha Justice Fellowship Program, concluded their second tour in Geneva, Switzerland.
The delegation started their first visits by meeting the United Nations Independent Commission to investigate the Israeli violations during protests in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which was formed according to the resolution of the Human Rights Council on 15 May 2018, in the UN headquarter. The meeting reviewed all the attacks carried out by Israeli forces in the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege activities in violation of the rules of the international human rights and humanitarian laws. After that the delegation had a tour inside the UN corridors.
On the same day, the delegation met with Kate Gilmore, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, at her office in Wilson Palace. The delegation members displayed the disastrous effects of the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip and the resulting suffering on the Gaza Strip population in addition to the daily attacks committed by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians and their property, which constitute a flagrant violation of the rules of the international law.
Kate Gilmore stressed that a new generation of lawyers shall adhere to the mechanisms of international justice and work on the need to address all the UN bodies in order to achieve justice and provide redress to victims. Kate expressed her pride and is very honored of PCHR’s legal Unit which believes in the international justice.
On Tuesday, 27 November 2018, the delegation met with a number of Special Rapporteurs within their educational tour as part of non-contractual mechanisms of the human rights system, including the following:
- The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.
- The UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial summary or arbitrary Executions.
- UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
- The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
- The UN Special Rapporteur on the field associations right.
- Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
The members of PCHR’s delegation displayed the nature of PCHR’s legal work during their meetings and discussed the possibilities of having joint cooperation with PCHR concerning the complaints to the Special Rapporteurs relevant to the Palestinian cause. At the end of the meeting, all the Special Rapporteurs thanked PCHR’s delegation for their interest in the UN mechanisms and employing them in their work.
PCHR’s delegation ended their educational tour in Geneva on 28 November 2018 by meeting with Deputy Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, and Christopher Peschoux, from Special Procedures Branch at Wilson Palace in Geneva, Switzerland. The meetings addressed a number of issues relevant to violations against the Gaza Strip population in light of the Israeli authorities’ practices, including the closure policy imposed on the Gaza Strip.
It is scheduled that PCHR’s delegation will leave Geneva on Thursday, 29 November 2018, to Berlin in Germany to continue the program of the second educational tour.
It should be noted that this second educational tour comes as part of implementing the Bertha Justice Fellowship Program, which sponsors the training of young lawyers and funded by the Bertha Foundation.