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PCHR Receives a Delegation of the Finnish Representative to the Palestinian Authority

Ref: 05/2020

On Wednesday, 12 February 2020, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) received a delegation from the Representative Office of Finland to the Palestinian Authority, headed by Ambassador, Anna-Kaisa Heikkinen and Head of Cooperation, Paula Malan at its main office in Gaza City. The delegation met with PCHR Director, Raji Sourani and Deputy Director for Program Affairs, Hamdi Shaqqura.

The human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) were at the heart of the discussion, especially the Israeli-imposed closure on the Gaza Strip and its economic, social and humanitarian consequences on over 2 million Palestinians. Additionally, the Israeli attacks on Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations were brought to light especially the smear campaign led against them by the Israeli government and right-wing organizations affiliated with it in an effort to undermine their credibility, delegitimize their work and limit their funding resources.

The meeting also addressed the uptick in the restrictions continuously imposed by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on the work of civil society organizations, including non-profit companies.  It reviewed most prominent and recent restrictions, including the attempts to intervene into their funds, aims and management.

During the meeting, PCHR called upon the European Union to play a more active role in order to end the deterioration of the human rights situation in the oPt and face Israel’s ongoing disregard for intentional law.

Furthermore, PCHR reiterated the importance of the Finnish role in supporting the Palestinian civil society; and the important cooperation between both of them for the development of democratic institutions, an effective civil society and promote the culture of human rights.

In conclusion, PCHR highlighted its work dedicated for the promotion and protection of human rights as well as the challenges it faces.

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