PNGO: Concerns over Summoning of AMAN Senior Level Personnel, a Possible Violation of Palestinian Basic Law
The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network views the summoning of Dr. Azmi Al-Shuaibi, Advisor to the Board of Directors of the AMAN Coalition, and the Executive Director of the Coalition, Issam Haj Hassan, by the Chief Prosecutor, with grave concern and disapproval. The senior level persons were charged with libel and defamation, as well as violating the Cybercrime Law, following the publication of Aman's annual reality report on Integrity and Anti-Corruption for the year 2022. The report, titled "Occupation, Division, and Political Corruption: A Closed Circle that Feeds Each Other," was released in May.
The network considers the summoning process to be a violation of the freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed by law. It is seen as an attempt to curtail the work of Palestinian civil society and lacks any legal basis. Moreover, it represents a blatant violation of both Palestinian and international laws that the State of Palestine has committed to uphold. This step is likely to widen the gap between the political system and the Palestinian public, especially in the face of escalating aggression from the occupying forces and their continuous targeting of the occupied Palestinian territories. Instead of engaging in internal disputes, efforts should focus on preserving, defending, protecting, and enhancing public freedoms, which contribute to strengthening national resilience against the occupation, particularly in the aftermath of the elections and the absence of an elected legislative council.
Considering the summons in light of the report's publication, the network calls for an immediate halt to this action. It reaffirms its support for the Coalition and its role, urging authorities not to restrict the space for fundamental freedoms. Respecting and safeguarding these freedoms should be prioritized, while investigating and prosecuting corruption. Additionally, institutions and individuals who defend the civilized and national values of the Palestinian people, as well as uphold principles of integrity and transparency, should be provided with protection. Aman, known for its professional and transparent reports over the years, deserves support rather than unwarranted legal action.