Prominent Palestinian labor rights activist, prohibited from traveling

Hasan Barghouthi is a trade unionist and a known activist for peace, democracy and social justice in Palestine. On 15 October 2003, he was prohibited by the Israeli authorities from leaving the occupied territories, and on 28 October he was informed by the Israeli intelligence services that he was prohibited from traveling abroad. His work as Director of the Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center in Palestine (DWRC) requires him to travel often, and the Israeli occupying power’s decision to deny him his right to freedom of movement in the future will seriously affect it.

We need your assistance to protect Mr. Barghouthi’s right to freedom of movement. Please read the background below, and show your solidarity by sending letters to the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the Israeli Ministry of Interior to protest against the decision, and ask that Mr. Barghouthi be allowed to travel freely.


On 15 October 2003, the General Director of the Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center in Palestine, Mr. Hasan Barghouthi, was on his way to Brussels, Belgium, to attend the Global Network meeting organized by Solidar, and to hold the first meeting for the Arab Global Network in Amman, Jordan. To his surprise, he was stopped for more than 7 hours at the border crossing with Jordan by the Israeli intelligence services. They did not allow him to travel and gave him an “invitation” to meet with an officer of the Israeli intelligence services called “Captain Shay” in Ramallah, on 21 October 2003.

On Tuesday 21 October, Mr. Hasan Barghouthi went to the offices of the Israeli intelligence services in Ramallah at 9 a.m. for the meeting. He was left waiting outside under the sun until 10:30 a.m., when a member of the Israeli intelligence services told him to come back at 12:00 a.m. When he returned at 12:00 a.m., they made him wait again until 3:30 p.m., when another member of the intelligence services showed up and asked him to return back on 28 October at 10:00 a.m. They did not even bother to ask him questions, they only made him wait outside under the scorching sun for hours and to no avail.

On 28 October 2003, when he went once again to the Israeli intelligence services at 10:00 a.m., he was kept waiting until 4 p.m., then finally told that he was forbidden from traveling abroad. He never met with any Israeli intelligence officer, nor was questioned or given the reasons for this measure.

Related Links:

  • The Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center