MUSAWA Demends the Cancellation of the Decree-law Amending the Associations Act

2021-03-03

West Bank

West Bank / Core Program / position paper

 

 

 

There is no dignity under Despotism and Hegemony; there is no Substitute to Protecting Human Rights.

Let the Decree-Law Amending the Associations Act Be Annulled

Once again and under cover of darkness, yesterday 3/2/2021, a Decree-Law No. 7 of 2021 amending Law No. (1) of 2000 regarding charities and civil organizations was issued, the Decree-Law issued on 2/28/2021, is published and its implementation is announced in less than three months’ time from the legislative elections, in a way that contravenes the text of Article (43) of the Basic Law, and in the complete absence of justifications for its enactment, and in light of a pandemic that denies any urgent need that cannot be delayed to justify such issuance. This Decree-Law comes as a culmination of a series of Decree-Laws aiming to embody the policy of Exclusivity, acquisition and expropriation of the nation’s components and powers, and to restructure and formulate the system of government in a comprehensive and authoritarian manner that gives no weight to any opinion that contradicts its own opinion, ambitions and narrow factional interests in a way that undermines the essence of the social contract and revolts against the constitutional values ​​and human rights guaranteed under the Declaration of Independence, the Basic Law, international covenants and agreements, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which they joined and became bound by its provisions.

 

 

Once again, Decree-Laws are issued with laws that silence and abolish the right to participate in public life in accordance with Article (26) of the Basic Law, prohibit freedom of thought and opinion, violate the right of public oversight over the performance of the system, turn citizens into subordinates with the window of life, dignity and complaint closed before them.

 

Despite our repetition of our position based on the law, of the unconstitutionality and illegality of Decree-Laws and our emphasis on that time and time again, and the futility discussing their texts for their absolute falsehood that does not have an effect and has no value, except that we find ourselves obliged to establish facts in front of citizens by stating the dangers to overall civil peace while they lead to the transformation of the homeland into a large prison, or centers of slavery that take us back to the era of darkness and tyranny. For this purpose, we show the aspects of those risks mentioned in the provisions of this decree-law:

 

The upper hand of the Ministries of Competence (the executive authority):

This is what was clearly stated in the first paragraph of Article (2) of the Decree-Law, which stipulated that the association’s plan be in line with the plan of the Ministry of Competence, and required associations to harmonize their plans, activities, and performance of their mission with the plan, approaches, and directions of the Ministry of Competence.

 

Abolishing the oversight role of CSOs on government performance:

Obliging CSOs to harmonize their plans with those of the ministries of competence is a blatant violation of democratic principles, and is an abolition of the oversight role of CSOs on government performance.

 

Transforming CSOs into an implementation tool for government decisions:

Obliging CSOs to operate in a manner that is consistent and harmony with the plans of the ministries of competence, is liable to turn them into implementation tools for government decisions, which affects the essence of the role and objectives of CSOs as a whole.

 

Assassination of the independence of CSOs:

What was stipulated in the third paragraph of Article (2) specifying the salaries of employees and operating expenses violates the independence of institutions and restricting their activities, striking the principle of human development and transferring hundreds of employees to the unemployment, which deepens the social crisis, and jeopardizing civic peace.

 

 

 

Anticipation of the will of the people and the election results:

The issuance of this Decree-Law less than three months before the legislative elections, represents in reality the imposition of a de-facto and hegemony over all institutions of government, which turns the elected Legislative Council into a mere media decoration that has to deal with expropriated institutions and authorities.

 

Expanding the circle of causes for dissolution of associations and confiscation of their funds:

What is stated in Article (5) of the Decree-Law entails authorizing the Ministry of Interior to liquidate the organization if the Ministry of Competence considers that the activities or positions of the organization are outside its plan, and gives it the power to appoint a liquidator for the organization and to deposit its money in the public treasury.

 

Tampering with Palestine's international relations:

Restricting the work of CSOs and turning them into an executive tool of the government, and transferring their employees to workers at the ministries of competence in the government, would tamper with the funds of the donor states provided to these organizations and threaten to confiscate them, which would negatively affect the reputation of Palestine and its international relations.

 

 

 

Therefore, we in the Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession "MUSAWA" call on all CSOs, with different programs, goals and objectives, to work together, unified and collectively to:

  1. Refuse to comply with this decision, and to demand its immediate and unconditional repeal, as a threat to the principles of democracy and usurpation of the powers of the Legislative Council as the sole authority over legislation and oversight.
  2. Use all legitimate legal means to uncover the justifications and purposes of this Decree-Law and its risks to society's security, stability interests and citizenship interests.
  3. Call on all community actors, trade unions, political parties, and everyone who cherish their dignity and the dignity of their homeland to actively participate, lobby and speak up to cancel this Decree-Law.
  4. Call upon the UN's Special Rapporteurs, especially the Special Rapporteur on forming societies, and all international bodies with competence and the Human Rights Council, to assume their responsibilities, in a way that contributes to abolishing this decree-law and not dealing with its consequences.

There is no dignity in light of despotism and hegemony, and there is no substitute for protecting human rights.

Issued on: 03/03/2021                                                          "MUSAWA"

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