JERUSALEM – Human Rights Watch has asked an Israeli court to block the planned deportation of its local director.
Israel this month ordered Omar Shakir to leave the country, claiming he supports boycotts of Israel. The group 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.
Wednesday’s lawsuit also accuses Israel of improperly enforcing an anti-boycott law. It says the law, used to prevent boycott activists from entering the country, does not apply to people who already are in the country with valid visas.
“This outcome is blood curling as it means the creation of databases on the political views, opinions and statements of civilians,” the suit says.
Shakir has been ordered to leave by midnight Monday.