Date: 4 March 2021
ICSPR calls for the abolition of Decree-Law No. 07 of 2021 amending the Law of Charitable Societies and NGOs.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) followed with great disapproval and concern the President’s issuance of Decree-Law No. 07 of 2021 amending the Law of Charitable Societies and Non-Governmental Organizations No. 01 of 2000, which was published in the Palestinian Journal of Facts on 02/03/2021.
The decree-law adds unjustified and unconstitutional restrictions on the work of civil society organizations, and requires them to submit their annual plans and budget to the competent ministry, as well as obtaining prior approval to collect any donations or obtain any funding, in addition to restricting the work of professional societies by setting the limits of salaries not to exceed 25% of the budget, as well as facilitating and gave the power of dissolving associations to the Palestinian authority, not the board of directors and the general assembly, in addition to confiscating associations’ funds in case of liquidation.
ICSPR affirms that the restrictions constitute a blatant interference and an expansion of the heavy supervisory powers of the executive authority over the work of charitable societies and civil institutions.
It calls the authority to distance itself from restrictive practices in a way that guarantees the empowerment and protection of the work of societies in accordance with the guarantees of the Basic Law and international human rights standards signed by the State of Palestine. And it expresses its astonishment of the timing of issuing the decision, especially as it coincides with the start of the electoral process procedures, in which institutions play a clear role either by spreading electoral awareness or monitoring the electoral process. Therefore:
- ICSPR affirms that the decree-law amending the law of associations is a continuation of the approach based on exclusion and restriction of public freedoms, especially the freedom to form associations in addition to impeding their work and their vital role in protecting human rights and achieving societal interests.
- ICSPR condemns the issuance of decree-laws, especially those that lack necessity, and calls on the Palestinian president to cancel the decree-law amending the charitable societies law.