Court Upholds Decision to Expel Pro-BDS Rights Worker

Omar Shakir in his office in Ramallah earlier this month. (Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)

An Israeli judge has rejected a request to delay the planned deportation of the local director of Human Rights Watch, and ordered him to leave the country by next Thursday.

The Interior Ministry said on May 8 that it had terminated Omar Shakir’s residency due to his support of the anti-Israel boycott.

The New York-based group had asked the court to allow Shakir to remain in the country until a court rules on his appeal of the expulsion order. But in its decision Thursday, the court rejected the request.

“The judge rejected our request for an interim order that would allow me to stay in the country so the case could be heard,” Shakir told AFP. “The judge gave me until May 24 to leave.”

Human Rights Watch says that neither it nor Shakir, a U.S. citizen, support boycotts, and accuses Israel of trying to muzzle criticism of its human-rights record.

HRW says it plans an appeal to the Israeli High Court on Monday.

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