Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and Shawan Jabarin, Director of al-Haq, continue their 2-week rare visit to the U.S.A upon an invitation from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) located in the U.S.A. This visit is the first for Raji Sourani in many years, due to U.S. visa restrictions while this is only Jabarin’s second visit in more than a decade. CCR stated that inviting Sourani and Shawan to the U.S.A audiences is part of “its long-standing support for and solidarity with the Palestinian human rights struggle and efforts exerted to challenge the impunity granted to the Israeli government’s violations of the international law concerning the illegal occupation of Palestine and American complicity with the occupation.”
The visit program included a list of intensive events featuring Raji and Shawan in New York, Boston and Washington D.C. On 11 April, CCR organized in cooperation with Students for Justice in Palestine at the Law School in the City University of New York a special meeting that included each of Raji, Shawan and Vince Warren, CCR Executive Director. The meeting discussed the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and ongoing efforts to protect basic human rights and struggles for accountability for widespread violations, including heading to the International Criminal Court.
On 12 April, a special evening was organized at the Law School in the University of New York with the award-winning journalist Amira Hass. The event was moderated by Jamil Dakkour, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Human Rights Program (HRP).
On 13 April, CCR organized a special evening with Raji and Shawan about the situation in the oPt, especially the illegal and inhumane closure imposed on the Gaza Strip and situation in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem. During the event, Rashid Khalidi, a Columbia University scholar, addressed the role of the U.S. policy towards Israel and Palestine. The panel was moderated by CCR Board Chair and Columbia Law School Professor Katherine Franke. The event was co-sponsored by PCHR, al-Haq, International Committee of the American Bar Association and Code Pink.
On 14 April, Harvard University hosted Raji and Shawan in a special meeting moderated by Dr. Sarah Roy, Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University. The meeting was co-sponsored by the Carr Center for Human Rights and the Middle East Forum, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and CCR.
On 17 April, another meeting with Raji and Shawan moderated by Phyllis Bennis, Expert in the Middle East Affairs from the Institute for Policy Studies, and presented by Katherine Gallagher from the CCR, to be held in Washington D. C. The meeting was sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies, CCR, and Busboys and Poets and co-sponsored by US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Code Pink, American Friends Service Committee, the Palestine Center, Peace Action, US Palestinian Community Network, Sabeel DC Metro, Jewish Voice for Peace – DC Metro, Washington Peace Center, Arab Studies Institute, Amnesty International USA, and US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN).
On 20 April, Raji and Shawan will participate in a special meeting at the American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) about protecting basic human rights and struggles for accountability for widespread violations, including before the International Criminal Court. They will be joined by CCR Deputy Legal Director Maria LaHood, who will discuss efforts to silence advocates for Palestinian rights in the United States. The discussion will be moderated by Deena Hurwitz, Interim Director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at AUWCL.
Raji and Shawan and moderator Zaha Hassan will be on the same day in New American Foundation for a conversation addressing the opportunities and challenges Palestinians may face on the international level. Sourani and Jabarin will also discuss the current wave of violence in the region that began late September 2015.