Amnesty condemns constant death threats against employee of Palestinian human rights organisation in The Netherlands

Amnesty International is deeply concerned by the continuing death threats and intimidation against Nada Kiswanson. She works for Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights organisation, as its permanent representative at the International Criminal Court in The Netherlands. Read our statement in response to today’s article in the Dutch newspaper NRC.

> Read the article Mensenrechtenjurist in Nederland ernstig bedreigd (NRC)

These threats against Nada Kiswanson are completely unacceptable and obstruct her in her work. Amnesty International fully supports human rights defenders like Nada Kiswanson, no matter where they live.

Amnesty International is shocked by the fact that Nada Kiswanson and her family were threatened through the hacking of a personal email account of one of Amnesty’s senior staff members in The Netherlands.

We call upon the Dutch government, at the highest level, to publicly state that these grave threats, which may be international in origin, are unacceptable on Dutch territory.

Besides the security measures that have already been taken, the current police investigation into the constant threats should be a top priority. The Dutch authorities have an obligation to protect human rights defenders like Nada Kiswanson.

The Dutch government must ensure, as a matter of urgency, that appropriate Human Rights Defenders protection mechanisms are put in place and available in The Netherlands. It’s essential that a focal point is established for employees  of non-governmental organisations working on international justice issues.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs must ensure that the Dutch government proactively meets its obligations as the host state of the International Criminal Court.  The Dutch authorities must ensure the safety and protection of everybody working on International Justice issues in The Netherlands, with adequate recourse to protection mechanisms. This particularly applies to The Hague, a city that promotes itself as a Human Rights Defenders shelter city and the international city of Peace and Justice.