Several news outlets reported today that a Hamas official addressed the UN Human Rights Council. The truth was more prosaic: Hamas representative Ismail al-Ashqar was invited to speak to a seminar on “Arresting Parliamentarians” organized by a Sudanese NGO. Al-Ashqar did not speak before the HRC plenary session, but rather to a virtually empty room, as the accompanying picture attests. Below are highlights of his testimony.
As you know, kidnapping parliamentarians is an anti-democratic and political crime. After the success of our union, the Israeli occupation forces took over 50 MPs as well as the president of our authority. It is an unprecedented use of kidnapping, and women MPs were also kidnapped. The kidnapping operation was a flagrant and clear violation against humanity and democracy and the immunity of parliament. From the first stage of kidnapping, not only incarceration, we thought these were political arrests. Their objective was to put parliamentarians in jail and to prevent their movement and stop them from assuming their positions. Continue reading ‘Hamas official addresses NGO seminar on the fringes of the HRC’s 19th Session’