Issa Amro never wanted to be an activist. But when his university was occupied by the Israeli army and his dream of becoming an engineer came to a halt, Issa’s journey as a human rights defender and leader of nonviolent activist groups began.
Issa is among a growing number of Palestinians who have embraced non-violent means of protesting Israel’s military occupation and expanding settlements, and who are increasingly finding those avenues of dissent blocked.
The right to freedom of expression is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which sets out in broad terms the human rights of all people. Exercising these rights - without fear or unlawful interference - is central to living in an open and fair society; one in which people can access justice and enjoy their human rights. Yet governments around the world routinely punish and imprison people for speaking out, even though almost every country’s constitution refers to the value of ‘free speech’.
In this episode, we lay down the backdrop of Issa’s story: the history of the Palestine-Israeli conflict and how the establishment and expansion of the State of Israel resulted in the expulsion of 325,000 Palestinian residents. We dive into trends in silencing non-violent resistance and unpack how ‘active citizenship’ is fundamental to building a just, peaceful and prosperous society for all.
Featuring policy and advocacy insights from experts: Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch, and Avner Gvaryahu, Executive Director at Breaking the Silence.
The Elders Special Segment Guest: Hina Jilani, Member of The Elders, Pioneering Lawyer and Human Rights Advocate.
Finding Humanity is a production of Humanity Lab Foundation and Hueman Group Media.
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