Israel Court Declines to Delay Expelling HRW Official


An Israeli court on Thursday rejected Human Rights Watch's request for its country director to remain in Israel until an appeal against his expulsion is heard, the affected official told AFP.

HRW's Israel and Palestine director Omar Shakir, a U.S. citizen, now has one week to leave Israel, he told AFP.

"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 said, after the ruling by a district court.

"The judge gave me until May 24 to leave."

HRW intends to appeal to the supreme court, he said.

The interior ministry announced on May 8 it had terminated Shakir's residency permit over accusations he previously supported a boycott of Israel.

Shakir rejected the allegation and said Israel was seeking to silence dissent.

The organization has filed an appeal against the decision and Shakir said he had thought he was likely to be granted an extension until the case was concluded.