Lawyers for Justice Group is following up on the decision issued against it by the Ministry of Economy in Ramallah on 26/03/2023, which prevents the renewal of the group’s registration in the corporate records as a specialized private company registered with the Ministry of Economy based on instructions from the General Intelligence Agency in Ramallah, according to what the group was told on the aforementioned date.


The group emphasizes that the Ministry of Economy informed the group of the content of the decision when the group’s  executive director reviewed the Ministry several times with the aim of issuing an updated registration certificate for the year 2023, and requested him to check with the General Intelligence ِ Agency if he wants to lift the restriction.


In this context, the group confirms that it operates as a civil company registered with the Ministry of Economy in Ramallah, in line with the decisions and laws in force regarding civil companies to provide legal services and human rights, stated under the Articles of Association of the company with the Company’s Controller.


The registration of the group as a specialized civil company comes in light of the restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Interior and the security services on the work of associations, institutions and non-profit companies registered under the laws by decree and instructions, this greatly affects the discourse and mechanism of action of associations, specialized institutions and non-profit companies working in the field of human rights defense.


The group considers that the decision of the Ministry of Economy, which was taken at the request of the General Intelligence ِِِِAgency , as it was reported to the group, is as an integral part of suppressing, violations and prosecuting human rights discourse and combating human rights , especially during the past three years, which witnessed a sharp rise in the suppression of public freedoms and constitutional rights guaranteed under the Palestinian Basic Law and  international conventions on human rights.


The group also considers that the decision of the Ministry of Economy to restrict the group and prevent it from obtaining a registration certificate for the year 2023, according to the instructions of the General Intelligence ِِِِAgency, which has no legal authority to issue such instructions, is a violation of the authority of the law and judicial oversight. Accordingly, the group filed an administrative lawsuit that was filed before the Registry of the Administrative Court on 4/5/2023 to appeal the decision of the Companies Controller based on the request of the General Intelligence, as he said.


The group affirms that the procedures and restrictions it is exposed to deviate from the context of the applicable procedures and laws that the group respects and adheres to, as stated in a statement issued by the Ministry of Economy on 14/4/2023. Rather, it comes in the context of adapting the work of civil administrations to justify security policies that aim to curb and combat the group’s activity and exclude its human rights discourse.


In this context, the group also confirms that these measures come at a time when the group is exposed to fabricated allegations about receiving financial support to finance human rights activities “with the intention of fighting the Palestinian Authority” Also, after a series of actions and prosecutions that the group was subjected to during the past years, the most recent of which was notifying the Palestinian Bar Association by the General Intelligence ِِِِAgency of its intention to summon the executive director of the group lawyer Muhannad Karajeh, during December 2022.


Accordingly, the “Lawyers for Justice” group calls on the Ministry of National Economy and the Companies Controller in Ramallah to refrain from the decision to prevent the renewal of the group’s registration in the companies register and to ignore the above-mentioned instructions, which do not include a legal basis. Rather, it only expresses the state of harassment, oppression and incitement that the group has been subjected to during the past years, which took many forms with the aim of discouraging it from performing its lofty mission in defending human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Basic Law and international conventions on human rights, as well as  abolishing its monitoring role over the violations committed against the human rights system.


The group also affirms its commitment to the Palestinian law in force, and refuses in any way to justify the measures taken against it in the framework of applying the law, especially since it knew of the restriction procedures and justifications recently. The ministry refused in any way to give the group through its legal representative a written submission explaining the truth of what happened, and that the group knew from the media about the ministry’s justifications about correcting its legal status and what it called a financial and administrative report, in a press statement issued by the Ministry on 4/14/2023.


In conclusion, the group appreciates the positions of support and advocacy it received from human rights organizations partnering in human rights work, and the declared positions issued by them against the measures of repression and harassment that the group is subjected to, the group commends the positions of Front Line Defenders and Human Rights Watch. Also, It calls on all institutions to support the group in the illegal measures it is exposed to against its human rights discourse, and affirms that it continues its human rights and legal work in defending human rights despite all the challenges and obstacles.


Lawyers for Justice

April 15, 2023