HEBRON URGENT ACTION: Greg Rollins denied entry into Israel. Contact Israeli Ministry of the Interior
CPTnet March 11, 2004 HEBRON URGENT ACTION: Greg Rollins denied entry into
Israel. Contact Israeli Ministry of the Interior
Christian Peacemaker Team member Greg Rollins (Surrey, BC) was denied entry
to Israel at Ben Gurion airport in the early morning hours of
March 11, and was returned as far as Amsterdam.
"I'm surprised, we have a very strong court order , it seems the Israeli
security people at the airport made a mistake," said Sani Khoury, with the
law firm of Kuttab and Khoury. "Our settlement is in writing and it has the
force of a court order. It says that there are no restrictions on Greg's
entering Israel, any past restrictions in Interior Ministry computers must
be removed, previous (attempted deportation) proceedings will not be held
against him -- no restrictions."
Kuttab and Khoury have asked for a reversal from the Israeli Interior
Ministry, and expect a reply Friday morning. If Rollins is not re-admitted,
they plan on a "contempt of court" procedure against the Interior Ministry.
Rollins was the center of a case before the Israeli High Court last year
challenging an Israel military order barring all Israelis and internationals
from Palestinian-controlled areas. The order was rarely
enforced but had a chilling effect on the work of Israeli and international
peace groups. Rollins was arrested while observing the detention of a large
number of Palestinian men in Hebron, and the ruling on his case held that
the military order was too broad and should not be enforced absent any
specific illegal activity.
This case will have an important effect on the continuing ability of human
rights monitors to operate in the West Bank and Gaza. CPT asks
for telephone inquiries to be directed to the Israeli Interior Ministry. We
especially encourage media inquiries. From what we know now, those
offices will be open and considering this matter between about 9am and 11am
Jerusalem time, Friday morning. (That's 2am to 4am tonight Eastern time,
11pm to 1am tonight on the west coast of North America.)
In your call, begin by explaining that you are aware of a court order
allowing for Canadian Greg Rollins to enter Israel without restrictions. ASK
IF SOME MISTAKE WAS MADE BY AIRPORT PERSONNEL when Greg arrived at Tel Aviv
March 11. (This would be the likely explanation for a reversal allowing
Greg to return.) If they confirm this, thank them for correcting the error.
In any case, tell them you will be following the case, because it is an
important case for the protection of human rights.
From North America, dial 011-972-2-629-0231 or 011-972-2-629-0222
Faxing the Interior Ministry is also an effective way
of letting the Interior Ministry know that the international community is
monitoring its behavior toward peace and human rights activists. In the
next few days, send faxes expressing the concerns suggested above to
011-972-2-670-1628. Note that the office in Jerusalem will be closed Friday
afternoon until Sunday morning.
Rich H. Meyer
Hebron Team Support
Christian Peacemaker Teams