Helen Clark, head of UNDP
Valerie Amos, head of OCHA
We, the undersigned, call upon the UN to ensure that the rights of OCHA employee Ms. Khulood Badawi are not violated as a result of a political persecution against her. Ms. Badawi, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and a veteran human rights defender, has recently been subjected to false defamation and personal harassment as a UN employee. Increasing political persecution and harassment of Palestinian and Israeli civil society organizations and human rights activists has been noted with great concern by the international community.
This pressure aims to undermine the legitimacy of civil society in general and human rights defenders in particular; it includes legislative measures, restrictions of freedoms of speech and association, and systematic intimidation of individuals. The case against Ms. Badawi is particularly alarming as it attempts to engage and instrumentalize the UN and its institutions in the political persecution of human rights defenders. The UN must not succumb to any form of political pressure and must withhold from opening any proceedings against Ms. Badawi, as such action would undermine the very principles upon which the UN was founded. Proceedings against Ms. Badawi, a UN employee, could directly damage civil society organizations and it's employees. Such an act would provide a backwind to political persecution against Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders.
It should be noted that Ms. Badawi is persecuted after expressing in a personal statement her sorrow for the death of an innocent child, a sentiment shared by all humankind and in the spirit of the United Nations Charter. It is our view that Ms. Badawi is targeted only because she is a UN employee and a veteran human rights defender. We are deeply concerned that such a precedent would serve to intimidate all UN employees and may lead to the persecution of other committed and excellent professional employees of UN institutions in Israel and other countries. In light of these developments and their far-reaching consequences on the UN and the entire international human rights community, we appeal to you to intervene in this case and personally ensure that the rights of Ms. Badawi are respected.
For more information, see: http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/opinion/4347-where-is-un-employee-khulood-badawi-.html.
[petition id=11 view=signers RPP=25]