[Webinar] Stand with the 6: A Conversation with Palestinian Rights Groups Under Attack (Makan)
This talk will take place on Wednesday 1st December 2021 at 6pm Irish Time. The talk will last 1 hour and 30 minutes.
‘Stand with the 6: A Conversation with Palestinian Rights Groups Under Attack’
In the last month, Israel designated six prominent Palestinian civil society institutions as ‘terrorist organisations’. The list includes Al-Haq, Addameer, Defence for Children International, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. These organisations play a critical role in highlighting the impact of Israel’s settler colonial and apartheid regime on the lives of Palestinians and in calling on the international community to ensure Israel is held to account for its systematic human rights violations.
International human rights activists and groups have denounced Israel’s decision as a blatant attempt to prevent the organisations from documenting human rights abuses and have declared their solidarity by adopting the #StandWithThe6 calls to action. The designation has sparked an essential conversation about the situation in Palestine with human rights defenders around the world.
This talk will look at the recent designation as an example of Israel’s long history of criminalising Palestinian civil society. Makan’s Co-Director Aimee Shalan will be in conversation with Addameer’s Sahar Frances and Al-Haq’s Wesam Ahmad, who together will contextualise the political ramifications of the designation on their organisations and outline what can be done to support their efforts to achieve freedom, justice and dignity for Palestinians.
Sahar Francis is the General Director of Ramallah-based Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian NGO providing legal and advocacy support to Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. An attorney by training, she joined the association in 1998, first as a human rights lawyer, then as head of the Legal Unit. With over twenty years of human rights experience, including human rights counseling and representation, Ms. Francis also was on the Board of Defence for Children International – Palestine Section for 4 years, and in the Board of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. Sahar did her practice on Human Rights in the Society of Saint Yves in Jerusalem, on issues of Land confiscations, house demolitions, labor rights and freedom of movement, and in 1997 worked with BADIL Refugee Rights Center legal unit.
Wesam Ahmad is a Palestinian-American, born and raised in the US. BA and Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University and an LLM from the Irish Center for Human Rights in Galway. Has been working as a human rights advocate with Al-Haq since 2006, where he is now the Director of the Applied Center for International of Al-Haq and Coordinator of Al-Haq’s Business and Human Rights Program. His area of research focuses on the economic incentive structure perpetuating the colonization of Palestine along business lines.
Aimee Shalan is Co-Director of Makan. She is also a Trustee of Friends of Birzeit University (Fobzu), a policy member of the Palestinian policy network, Al Shabaka, and Chair of the British-Palestinian Council. Her previous roles have included: Chief Executive of Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), Director of Friends of Birzeit University (Fobzu) and Co-founder and Director of Pressure Cooker Arts, a not-for-profit arts and advocacy organisation. She has been a regular contributor to the Guardian and has written for a variety of media outlets. Previously, she taught at City University and Queen Mary, University of London and she has a doctorate in the Politics of Palestinian Literature.
Makan is a Palestinian-led organisation that strengthens voices for Palestinian rights through political education. Makan helps to transform the existing narrative on Palestine-Israel to one that upholds freedom, justice and equality for all by delivering educational workshops and trainings on Palestine, creating useful resources and tools for human rights advocates, and connecting people and organisations active on the issue to one another.